Films 2020

Competition Short Films

The Cary Theater is proud to present BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival, a celebration of the art of storytelling through short films and screenplays. Our festival strives to welcome filmmakers to the heart of North Carolina by offering the sweetest Southern hospitality we can muster alongside stimulating workshops and opportunities for veteran and newbie filmmakers to network while celebrating the magic of filmmaking. A focus of this event is to bring the community together to experience the best films they’ve never seen.


Friday, September 25 – 3:30 PM


A Modern Romance

Director / Writer / Producer: Nathan Shanahan

A young couple have different expectations for their first date. 






Director / Writer / Producer : Andrew Harrell & Patrick Nichols

A woman faces an ultimatum from her husband, rooted in his desperate drive to protect them from impending environmental catastrophe.



Interstate 8

Director / Writer: Anne Thieme 

Producer: Lina Mareike Zopfs

In the southern US, two young women meet by chance in a police car and, without speaking a word to each other, are confronted with the injustice hovering above them.



Tender is the Kiss

Director / Writer: Longwei Deng 

Producer: Elaine Wong, Jessica Q. Yang, Cindy Wu

Will he find the mysterious woman who might be the only one to prove his innocence?



Stari Grad (Old Town)

Director / Writer: Jack Beck

Producer: Barbara Beros

A fable set in Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia. A boy, hiding from artillery fire, makes a wish for peace, with unexpected results.




She Follows Close Behind

Director / Writer: Aidan Weaver 

Producer: Katie Sanderson

A woman seeking closure questions an old man about an unsolved mystery from her past.




Friday, September 25 – 7:00 PM



Director / Writer: Danilo Stanimirovic´

Producer: Danilo Stanimirovic´ & Doloris Ašković

Strahinja has just finished acting school and he works as a clown in a kid’s playhouse. Bambiland is a big amusement park in his hometown which was open when he was a child. Now, it is an abandoned, creepy place and as such it represents a metaphor for Strahinja’s generation in Serbia.



The Spaghetti Monster

Director / Writer: Joshua M. Thomas

Producer: Kari Lee Thomas

Trespassing can be deadly.



The Big L  

Director: Joey Moore

Writer: Willow Augusta Longbrake / Producer: Sam Varriale & Julia Lofton Walpole

At school, Lucy meets a new student with a mutual interest in comics. However, the new kid, Donovan, is getting bullied by mean girl trio Zoey, Chloe, and Joey. Lucy finds her love for comics shaken. But, with encouragement from her father, not only does Lucy regain her confidence, but she also decides to become a superhero herself and confront the bullies head on.



Painted Love

Director: Michelle DeGrace

Writer: Ruby Scharf & Milena Saban

Producer: Sam Varriale & Thatcher Johnson-Welden

Stuck in her dreary job as a debt collector, an old-fashioned dreamer discovers a magical portal to a new world full of life and color.




Department 666

Director: Adam York / Writer: Dave Harlequin

Producer: Andrea Gonzales, Jesse H. Knight, Dave Harlequin, Matthew Ketcham 

A recently deceased man discovers that the afterlife isn’t quite what he was expecting.




Director: Tom White / Writer: Richard F. Russell

Producer: Tom White

Two broken souls find one another on the road to recovery that reveals they share an even deeper connection. 




Friday, September 25 – 9:00 PM

Camilla, Keep Your Word

Director / Writer: Holland Gallagher

Producer: Taylor Sharp

A Hurricane Katrina evacuation love story.




Director: Jenna Kanell & Katie Carpenter / Writer: Chris Gervais

Producer: Kevin Welch

Three thieves descend on a farm in search of “The Living Sisters,” twin girls and the only human births since “The Crash,” a day when people stopped dying, growing, or getting pregnant.



Director / Writer: Jo Hatcher

Producer: Olivia Moore & Ephiphany James

Shelter is the story of Cristina, a young undocumented woman, and her seven-year old daughter as they walk inland Texas to seek asylum. However, unbeknownst to them, the Trump Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy has just taken effect.




Director / Writer / Producer: JP Snell

A woman’s quest to declutter her life comes with surprising results.






Director: Grant Godbee / Writer: Sierra Stewart Cook Producer: Jon Jenkins & Nick Dardes

A teenage girl is forced to confront the realities of impending motherhood when she discovers that she is pregnant and must reconcile with her own irresponsible mother.




Uncle Otto’s Truck

Director / Writer: Dan Sellers

Producer: Sammie Cassell & Dan Sellers

Based on the short story by Stephen King, “Uncle Otto’s Truck” tells the tale of a man obsessed by a truck that he’s convinced is out to get him.



Folding Fur  

Director: Keaton Sapp / Writer: Madison Williams Producer: Jonny Cebula

In a small paper forest lived a small paper fox who loved playing with all the animals no matter how they were folded. One day the fox spied someone he’d never seen before in the forest. Curiously, when the fox tried to say hello, the new kid ran away with his tail between his legs. The fox never had trouble making new friends before, but if he’s going to win over the new kid, then he’ll have to change his whole outlook! Come see how the story unfolds!



Saturday, September 26 – 1:00PM

Sea Salt Wind

Director / Writer: Zack Fox

Producer: Dan Sellers, Sammie Cassell, & Zack Fox

Sea Salt Wind tells the story of a mysterious young lady riding around a landlocked city on a bike with a surfboard. She is serving a self-made penance, while working in a food truck with a father figure, after her passionate romance went wrong.



Director: Jeff Yabrow / Writer: Hayley Vinson

Producer: Elliott Emfinger

A young woman living with her boyfriend struggles to make ends meet. Although he is an addict, she cannot seem to let him go, leaving her to pay the bills and fend for herself. So, when her boss shorts her paycheck, she decides to take matters into her own hands.



The Sound of Silence

Director: Donald Wilson / Writer: Donald Wilson & Zsane Fleming

Producer: Donald Wilson & Ariel Smith

A man returns to his beach house along the Currituck Sound after losing his better half and wonders if the other half will ever be whole again.





Director / Writer: Chad Hill / Producer: Chad Hill, Alexander Jeffery, Matthew Ramsaur, Paul Petersen, Megan Colvin

Pastor Paul is trying to save Ambrose’s soul. It’s not going well.





Lost in Place

Director / Writer / Producer: Morgan Holub

A young girl and her pet robot go on a journey, physically and emotionally.





Director: Raúl Koler, Emiliano Sette

Writer: Raúl Koler, Sabrina Pace

Producer: Emiliano Sette, Yashira Jordán, Francisco Zamudio

Anacronte and the Sorcerers of Evil, without any emotion and fulfilling their destiny, they put to test humanity’s happiness in a struggle that, in short, has each of us as winners and losers.



Saturday, September 26 – 3:30PM

The Casserole Brigade

Director / Writer: B. Rain Bennett

Producers: B. Rain Bennett, John F. Roberts

The Casserole Brigade follows the story of two brothers who, after the recent death of their mother, try to navigate the causes of her death as well as the causes of the distance between them, while being bombarded by the neighborhood ladies dropping off casseroles to show their sympathy in true Southern style.


Quilt Journeys

Director / Writer / Producer: Atinuke Diver &

Maracel Guevara

Journeys can be transformative. And while most begin as a single step towards a known destination, for a community of African-American women anchored in the Hayti community of Durham, North Carolina, the path towards courage, growth, and change isn’t a straight line, but a circle.



Director: Narvarre Megali  / Writer: John Hurley

Producer: John Hurley


As casualties mount, an African-American serviceman in WWII is forced into the co-pilot seat of a B-24 bomber for a raid over Germany. To fulfill his dream of flying in combat, he must say goodbye to the people that love him and fight alongside those who think he is expendable.



Director: Fernando Dumas / Writer : Fernando Dumas & David Irvine

Producer: Michelle Ryan

Scars, is a short film that explores the horror of domestic abuse. The story follows James through a nightmarish experience of his past relationship with his girlfriend, Camila. He’s unconsciously guided around his house by a mysterious presence that forces him to observe his cruel treatment towards her.




Lost Treasure of the Valley

Director / Writer: Robert Husted

Producer: John Sklaroff

A photographer and an adventurer discover that all of the abandoned shopping carts in LA’s San Fernando Valley lead to a hidden cave off of Sepulveda Blvd. with a lost treasure inside – guarded by a dragon!


The Love Garden 

Director / Writer / Producer: Daniel Smith

In the year 2035, Daniel J. Putis finds himself hopelessly searching for a romantic partner in the latest virtual reality dating service known as The Love Garden. After several bad dates, Daniel comes across an unidentified account. With nothing to lose, he swipes right and is quickly caught off guard by who he encounters on the other side of the table.




Sunday, September 27 – 2:00 PM

Winner of the 2020 Final Cut Showcase: 

This block features final cuts from our Rough Cuts Review program, which offers local filmmakers a forum to screen their in-progress films and receive moderated feedback. This block of films celebrates a selection of new and improved rough cuts screened between September 2019 and August 2020.  The Final Cut Showcase features a competition for the Best Final Cut.  As always, the focus of Rough Cuts Review is to be inclusive of filmmakers of all experience levels and to bring the community together to experience the works of local and emerging filmmakers in the Triangle.

Featured films: TBD