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Various film and theater events around the state

by Mark Burger

Halloween may be over, but the thrills are just beginning as the After Dark Horrorfest 2007 starts screening (and screaming) Friday on over 300 screens across the nation – including the ever-popular Carousel Grande 15 (1305 Battleground Ave., Greensboro).

The theme of Horrorfest 2007 is “8 Films to Die For,” and this year’s selection includes: Zev Berman’s Borderfest (with Rider Strong and Sean Astin), James Koya Jones’ Crazy Eights (with Traci Lords and Dina Meyer), Dario Piana’s The Death of Ian Stone (with Mike Vogel and Christina Cole), George Bessudo’s Lake Dead (with Edwin Craig and Pat McNeely), Jim Mickle’s Mulberry Street (with Laurel Astri and Kim Blair), Rolfe Kanefsky’s Nightmare Man (with Tiffany Shepis and Richard Moll), Mark Young’s Tooth and Nail (with Rachel Miner and Michael Madsen) and Matthew Leutwyler’s Unearthed (with Emmanuelle Vaugier and Luke Goss).

Those ought to knock “em dead!

The films will be screened on the two weekends through Nov. 18.

For more information about Horrorfest 2007, or to purchase advance tickets, check outhorrorfestonline.com or give the Carousel Grande a call at 336.230.1620.

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It’ll be a lucky 13 for the Cucalorus Film Festival, which opens Friday in downtown Wilmington. All told Cucalorus 13 has 200 films, over four days, in four venues. (Whew!)

A variety of themes are prevalent in the selection of films this year, including “Spotlight Africa,” six films that explore the devastation wrought upon the African continent by AIDS, warfare and economic hardships; “Gender Blender,” seven films that deal with sexuality; “Racial Rewind,” six films that examine this nation’s racial struggles of the past, which includes two films that deal specifically with North Carolina’s racial issues: Greensboro – Closer to the Truth and Moving Midway; “Latino Lens,” films which explore the Latino experience; “Surveillance Earth,” a selection of eight films that take a vast look at our own Planet Earth; and “Wars on Film,” a self-explanatory series of films that look at various wars and various wartime incidents and experiences.

There are also midnight screenings and a selection of films for families, all part of the festival’s organizers efforts to make this year’s event reach the widest possible audience… and maybe even the wildest!

All told, Cucalorus 13 will be screening more than 60 full-length documentaries and narrative features. This year’s festival attracted more than 900 submissions and will be screening a total of 200 films (an increase of more than 70 films over last year). Of these, 60 are international films representing work from some 30 countries.

A number of filmmakers will be on hand, and in addition to the screenings there will be panel discussions, seminaries and – oh yes! – parties.

Festival Passes ($100) allow access to all screenings and social events. Screening Passes ($50) cover all festival screenings. Individual tickets are also available. The festival’s headquarters is Jengo’s Playhouse, 815 Princess St., Wilmington.

For a complete schedule of screenings and events, or to order tickets, see cucalorus.org or call 910.343.5995.

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The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem rocks on with its production of Thomas Wolfe’s semi-autobiographical and Pulitzer Prize-winning 1929 classic Look Homeward, Angel, which opens Friday at the Arts Council Theatre (610 Coliseum Drive, Winston-Salem).

Sharon Andrews directs a cast that includes Mark Pirolo (former executive director of the Little Theatre), who also designed the scenery for this production; Karen Robertson, Gesh Metz, Matt Gutschick and Little Theatre newcomer Trey Kalny in the pivotal role of Eugene Grant.

Inspired by Wolfe’s own upbringing in North Carolina, the novel was adapted for the stage by noted playwright and screenwriter Ketti Frings, and the original 1958 Broadway production received six Tony Award nominations.

Look Homeward, Angel will run through Nov. 18. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Thursday (Nov. 15); 2 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for senior citizens and $14 for students. For all performances, there is a special “student rush” rate: Tickets are only $10, 10 minutes before curtain time. There will be a champagne reception this Friday to celebrate opening night.

There will also be a preview performance Thursday at 8 p.m., with open seating for $10. For more information about this production, see littletheatreonline.com or call 336.725.4001.

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