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Cosmic Rays Film Festival

March 5, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - March 6, 2020 @ 10:30 pm


The 3rd COSMIC RAYS FILM FESTIVAL will beam into Chapel Hill on Thursday, March 5th and Friday, March 6th, 2020 to present 6 programs of performances and screenings that explore the artistic possibilities of film and media. Cosmic Rays is an annual celebration of non-commercial short films
that extend the idea of film as art. ALL EVENTS (including all screenings and performances) are FREE AND OPEN to the public.

Screenings will be held at the historic Varsity Theater (123 E. Franklin Street), and performances will be held at Nightlight (405 ½ W. Rosemary Street). Co-directed by filmmakers Sabine Gruffat and Bill Brown (professors at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill), Cosmic Rays is an annual showcase of short films by some of today’s most exciting filmmakers and artists who break the norms of traditional forms of filmmaking. In addition to over 40 short films, Cosmic Rays is excited to welcome RACHAEL RAKES, Programmer at Large for Film at Lincoln Center – New York, who will present “Forms Are Facts,” a program of avant-garde films by Ja’Tovia Gary, Steffani Jemison, Regina Jose Galindo, and Oneyka Igwe.

Back by popular demand, Cosmic Rays will also present a special program of live-cinema performance. This year, we are pleased to welcome New York-based signal jammers MSHR (Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy); Vancouver-based 16mm film wrangler ALEX MACKENZIE; San Francisco-based algorithm alchemist BRENT COUGHENOUR; and Los Angeles-based media artist MELISSA FERRARI who will present a Magic Lantern performance entitled Relict: A Phantasmagoria.

Highlights from this year’s program also include legendary filmmaker NAOMI UMAN who will be in attendance to introduce a program of her films, as well as a collection of short films by experimental filmmakers with North Carolina connections including Jonathan Furnell, Anna Kipervaser, E.B. Landesberg, Evan Morgan, Lydia Moyer, Talena Sanders, and Francesca Talenti.

ALL SCREENINGS AND EVENTS ARE FREE, and everyone is warmly invited to a live-cinema performance and festival party at the Nightlight (405 1/2 W. Rosemary Street., Chapel Hill) at 9:30PM on Thursday, March 5th, 2020. For a full program listing, please visit and select “Program.”


March 5, 2020 @ 5:30 pm
March 6, 2020 @ 10:30 pm
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Varsity Theatre
123 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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