Where to start? I feel so fulfilled, inspired, energized and emotional…in the best possible ways. James and I just returned from the 20th annual Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, NC, where I was fortunate enough to spend a 2.5 month residence earlier this year. There isn’t anything else out there quite like Cucalorus. It’s hard to explain, and can only truly be understood once you are deep into its web of spectacular weirdness. I saw so many amazing pieces of work over the course of four days – filmmakers who covered a broad range of talents and voices. I also finally watched Joy Kevin after missing it at Indie Memphis, which turned out to be one of my favorite films of 2014. As luck would have it, it’s been released to the public as of this week! Carve out a few hours in your schedule ASAP and then click here to watch. It’s the story of two married creatives, navigating the ever-changing balance of art and co-habitation. It’s funny, real, dark and magical. Beautifully written, and brilliantly casted. Go, watch!

I am so proud to say I’ve witnessed the birth of a powerful filmmaker this year – Mandi Edwards. She was my Cucalorus creative residence partner in crime, hailing from England. She created a short documentary called Guns in the House – a statement piece about violence and the surrounding politics in Wilmington. It’s so good that a local paper named it the #4 short film to see out of a pool of 140 short narratives & docs. She bravely stepped into a controversial conversation armed with definitive research and questions for the community. Remember her name in the years to come!

Our screening for Call Me went amazingly well – we had the honor of opening up for Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns! Ah! I’ve been dying to see her feature, and it was well worth the wait. It’s identifiable, haunting and visually stunning. A huge heartfelt thanks to everyone at Cucalorus. Speaking of which – CONGRATS to several in our festival family who made a very important list this week! Flyway Film Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival, Indie Memphis and Cucalorus all made MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. That’s pretty amazing.

Outside of the film universe – my parents had their 36th anniversary this week, and The Bean turned 4! We head to Jacksonville, FL this weekend to see my sister Rachel, David and baby Abi-do. I can’t wait. We have a tremendous amount of traveling coming up in the coming weeks, which is a tad overwhelming but also exciting. Each trip has an important purpose. I am grateful to have the opportunity to do so many beautiful & amazing things.

Happy Birthday Bean!

Happy Birthday Bean!

Happy Anniversary to my mom & dad!!!

Happy Anniversary to my mom & dad!!!

Mandi in Q&A for Guns in the House.

Mandi in Q&A for Guns in the House.

Happy!

Happy!

Cucalorus funny faces.

Cucalorus funny faces.

Reunited with Hannah Cheesman, and new friend Mackenzie.

Reunited with Hannah Cheesman, and new friend Mackenzie.

Sitting with the filmmakers of Joy Kevin for their screening, along with my friend Stephen Cone.

Sitting with the filmmakers of Joy Kevin for their screening, along with my friend Stephen Cone.

Joy Kevin Q&A

Joy Kevin Q&A

Cape Fear

Cape Fear

Hannah & Mackenzie Q&A with the fabulous Ingrid Veninger

Hannah & Mackenzie Q&A with the fabulous Ingrid Veninger

Mandi & James

Mandi & James

Hannah & Mackenzie during quick beach trip!

Hannah & Mackenzie during quick beach trip! Check out their new web series Whatever, Linda – their trailer went live this week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guabFCtG9qQ

Special female filmmaker friends.

Special female filmmaker friends.

Airport shenanigans.

Airport shenanigans.

My dear friend Mandi Edwards.

My dear friend Mandi Edwards.

Play-doh at Jengo's.

Play-doh at Jengo’s.

At the screening for Call Me before I Believe in Unicorns with director Leah Meyerhoff.

At the screening for Call Me before I Believe in Unicorns with director Leah Meyerhoff.

At the Cucalorus secret screening closing film.

At the Cucalorus secret screening closing film.

Film Fatales Wilmington

Film Fatales Wilmington