BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival 2020

This year BEYOND goes virtual featuring 30 independently produced short films presented with workshops for all experience levels, including a screenwriting masterclass. Produced by the Cary Theater, BEYOND received a record number of entries, inviting 30 unique films for festival competition. Each will screen virtually over four days with workshops and Q&As, a special virtual table read of the screenwriting competition winner, a Zombiepalooza retrospective, and more.

Donations requested for our charity partner. We believe in the power of the arts to feed our souls. Instead of selling tickets, we’re asking patrons to donate to the Food Bank to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts. Donate below.

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2020 Festival Sponsors

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for 40 years. It serves a network of more than 900 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through warehouses in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, Southern Pines and Wilmington.

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Past Festival Highlights


Feature Films, Short Films & Filmmaking Workshops

Last years’ highlights included a screening of Batman Forever with the film’s writers Janet Scott Batchler and Lee Batchler. More than 250 people came to our family friendly festival kickoff screening of Captain Marvel outdoors at Cary’s Downtown Park.

The festival also included a screening of Cancer Rebellion with filmmaker Hernan Baragan and Teen Cancer America.

Five blocks of indie short films accompanied four workshops, including a screenwriting masterclass with Hollywood blockbuster screenwriter Janet Scott Batchler and Emmy Award-winning writer-producer Joy Goodwin. Other workshops included: Creating your own zombie film; The process of getting your film made; and What to do once your film is finished. BEYOND workshops are designed for all experience levels.

Why Beyond?

The roots of our theater slogan “Beyond Ordinary” originate from the Town’s name from the late 1700s as Bradford’s Ordinary. It represents our mission of providing 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 affordable film festival designed for all to enjoy. Activities are conveniently located within walking distance of our historic theater downtown.


What to Expect at the Film Festival

In most years, BEYOND is a welcoming small-town North Carolina film festival that’s known for our hospitality and convenient walkability. Filmmakers from far and wide have come to screen their short films and dazzled our enthusiastic audiences. In 2020, we go virtual to screen 30 films and host 3 filmmaking workshops for you to enjoy.


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