BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival

BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival

Each fall in the heart of the North Carolina, Cary hosts its annual short film and screenplay festival presented at the historic Cary Theater. Engaged audiences, new and established filmmakers, industry professionals, and special guests come together to celebrate the art of short filmmaking.

BEYOND RETURNS September 5-8, 2024

Festival submissions will open in February 2024 on Film Freeway. Filmmakers and audiences can expect to experience the best short films from around the world. Attendees will have opportunities to participate in panel discussions, filmmaking workshops, and more. BEYOND is designed to support emerging filmmakers with all events and social activities taking place within walking distance of our downtown theater.






Entering our 7th year, BEYOND organizers invite emerging filmmakers to submit their screenplays and short films under 40 minutes in length. In September 2023, 22 films were invited for competition and screened alongside select advance release films. The festival also included an exciting lineup of workshops and filmmaker panel conversations. 2024 festival submissions will open in February 2024.


BEYOND takes place in fast-growing Cary, N.C., a tech hub known for our hospitality. Films in competition have the chance to win awards in categories: 1) Best Narrative Short; 2) Best Doc Short; 3) Best Student Short; 4) Best N.C. Filmmaker Short; 5) People’s Choice; and 6) Grand Jury Winner.


Festival Highlights

Over the past six years, BEYOND has hosted engaging workshops and panel discussions with Hollywood screenwriters for films such as Batman Forever, Kiss The Ground, FUEL, Sister Act 2, Hoodlum, Deep Cover, among many others. Each year, emerging filmmakers have the opportunity to engage with talented artists and attend compelling workshops and screenings.

Why Beyond?

The origins of Cary’s name as Bradford’s Ordinary dates to the late 1700s. The festival’s theme of “Beyond Ordinary” represents our historic theater’s mission to provide a unique setting to experience affordable art house cinema here in downtown Cary.

We go above and beyond to celebrate the art of storytelling through cinema with a fun and accessible film festival that offers something for everyone to enjoy. Activities and accommodations are all conveniently located within walking distance of our downtown theater.


Festival Sponsors


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Don't miss this year's Oscar® nominated Live Action, Animation & Documentary short films to prepare you for the big night.

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