Films 2020


Local Focus & Competition Short Films

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Local Focus 

We support local filmmakers featured at The Cary throughout the year. This block highlights our best of the undead from Zombiepalooza. Our annual block party features locally produced short films screened outdoors downtown. Submissions still open for Zombiepalooza 2020!


Winners From The Past Four Years:

Year Film Filmmaker
2016 Detour Dan Schaefer
2016 Dead Meat Stephaun Perry 
2017 Death Don’t Do Us Part Nick Laws
2017 HOME Michael Pearce
2017 Push Play Michael Shorb 
2017 The Big Sale Dean Garris
2018 Missed Call Michael Pearce
2018 Day of the Living Phil Joey Wendt, Max Williams, Kevin Steele
2019 Fatal Time Korey Merritt
2019 Foggy Vale Max Williams
2019 The Meat Up Patrick Goodwin



Competition Short Films

The Cary Theater is proud to present our 2020 films in competition. We celebrate the art of storytelling with short films submitted by talented filmmakers from around the world. In most years, we welcome everyone to the heart of N.C. with the sweetest Southern hospitality we can muster. This year, we’ll come together online to experience unique films you’ve never seen.



Thursday, Sept. 24

Available 8:00 AM – 11:45 PM

View Filmmaker Q&A



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 U.S., two young women meet by chance in a police car. Without speaking a word to each other, they’re confronted with the injustice hovering above them. Adult language.


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?  Adult language.



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. Mature theme.




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 an abandoned, creepy place, it represents a metaphor for Strahinja’s generation in Serbia.



Director: Grant Godbee / Writer: Sierra Stewart Cook

Producers: Jon Jenkins & Nick Dardes

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



Sea Salt Wind

Director / Writer: Zack Fox

Producer: Dan Sellers, Sammie Cassell & Zack Fox

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.




Friday, Sept. 25

Available 8:00 AM – 11:45 PM

View Filmmaker Q&A


The Spaghetti Monster

Director / Writer: Joshua M. Thomas

Producer: Kari Lee Thomas

For this crowd, trespassing can be deadly.




The Big L  

Director: Joey Moore

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

Lucy meets a new student with a mutual interest in comics who’s getting bullied by a mean girl trio. Lucy finds her love for comics shaken. With encouragement from her father, not only does Lucy regain her confidence, she decides to become a superhero herself and confront the bullies head on.


A Modern Romance

Director / Writer / Producer: Nathan Shanahan

A young couple have different expectations for their first date. 






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.



Camilla, Keep Your Word

Director / Writer: Holland Gallagher / Producer: Taylor Sharp

A Hurricane Katrina evacuation love story. Adult language.



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.  Adult language.




Lost in Place

Director / Writer / Producer: Morgan Holub

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




The Love Garden

Director / Writer / Producer: Daniel Smith

In the year 2035, Daniel finds himself hopelessly searching for romance in the latest virtual reality dating service known as The Love Garden. After several bad dates, he 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. Adult language.



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.



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. When her boss shorts her paycheck, she decides to take matters into her own hands.


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.




Saturday, Sept. 26

Available 8:00 AM – 11:45 PM

View the Filmmaker Q&A



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. Contains violence. Viewer discretion advised.




Director / Writer: Jo Hatcher

Producer: Olivia Moore & Ephiphany James

Cristina is a young undocumented woman, joined by her seven-year old daughter, 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.




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. Mature theme.



Folding Fur 


Writers/Directors/Animators/: Keaton Sapp & 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, fox spied someone he’d never seen before. Curiously, when the fox tried to say hello, the new kid ran away. Fox never had trouble making new friends before, but if he’s going to win over the new kid, he’ll have to change his outlook.


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.


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.




The Casserole Brigade

Director / Writer: B. Rain Bennett

Producers: B. Rain Bennett & John F. Roberts

The story of two brothers who, after the death of their mother, try to navigate the causes of her death and the distance between them. All while being bombarded by neighborhood ladies dropping off casseroles to show their sympathy in true Southern style. Adult language. Mature theme.


Quilt Journeys

Director / Writer / Producer: Atinuke Diver & Maracel Guevara

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



Director: Narvarre Megali  / Writer: John Hurley

Producer: John Hurley

As casualties mount, a Black 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 those that love him and fight alongside those who think he’s expendable. Adult language.


Lost Treasure of the Valley

Director / Writer: Robert Husted

Producer: John Sklaroff

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



Sunday, Sept. 27

Available 11:30 AM – 11:45 PM


View the Best of Beyond Filmmaker Q&A



2020 Film Competition Award Sponsors