Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 14, 2012 08:10
Angela Hunt | The Seahawk
Volunteer Lance Moncada offers free screen printing for attendees of the Cucalorus Launch Party.
Angela Hunt | The Seahawk
Cucalorus resident artists Elizabeth Lawrence and Matt Hulse stand in front of a miniature representation of their upcoming work.
Nine minutes before their deadline, Cucalorus Film Festival surpassed their Kickstarter goal of $18,000 by $2,410 at their first-ever launch party. Donors were invited to bring t-shirts to be screen-printed with the Cucalorus monster, drinks flowed from the bar to the dance floor and several top-hats were thrown in the air when the 7:37 pm deadline (chosen for social media coordinator Leigh Voli’s love for palindromes) came and the goal was met.
While this is the second year the festival chose to use the Kickstarter fundraising website–where if you don’t reach a fundraising goal by a certain time, you don’t get any money–it is the first year they decided to throw a celebration for the countdown.
“Kickstarter is really a tool where you still have to do all the legwork yourself, but you can reach your core audience more effectively, which for us is all over the world,” said Cucalorus director Dan Brawley.
The money raised will go towards the technical necessities of producing Cucalorus but also towards airfare and travel costs for artists coming from different countries.
“We had a lot of people from Germany who came in the past and are scheduled to come this year as well,” said Brawley. “We want to include as many international artists as we can in the festival.”
Event venue 128 South in downtown Wilmington donated their space, food and staff for the fundraiser. The location overlooks the Cape Fear River on one side and the historical downtown’s skyline on the other.
“128 [South] donated a lot to Cucalorus with this celebration,” said Chase Shelton, the festival’s communications director. “They have really gone above and beyond with providing this beautiful location.”
Three hours before the deadline, the festival was over $2000 short of their goal, but Voli
was sure the money would be raised without a hitch. As social media director, Voli
had been sending word out through the festival’s twitter
and blog asking people to “donate all their monies” in the days leading up to the party.
“I’m completely confident we’ll make our goal,” said Voli at the beginning of the night.
With 250 backers, the Festival increased the number of donors from last year’s Kickstarter by 18.5 percent. Cucalorus intern and UNCW film and business student Courtenay Sherwood asked all her friends and family to donate money before the party.
“My mom donated a good amount, and she asked all her work friends to donate too,” said Sherwood. “I think the party is what really made the difference this year, and I’m so glad we met our goal.”
The launch party’s success allowed Cucalorus to continue with their 18th year of the festival where over 150 short and narrative films are scheduled to play.
To find information about the festival you can visit their website
or donate to their Kickstarter