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 and craft of short filmmaking.


Join us Sept. 21-24, 2023

Experience the best of film up-close as we screen short films from around the world. 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.





Earlier this year, BEYOND organizers invited emerging filmmakers to submit their screenplays and short films under 40 minutes in length. Twenty-two films were invited for competition and will screen alongside select advance release films. An exciting lineup of new workshops and filmmaker panel conversations have been added to round out this year’s schedule.


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 five 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.


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