The 14th Annual Cape Fear Independent Film Festival takes place May 1st through 4th, 2-14 in Downtown Wilmington with venues including historic Thalian Hall and the Browncoat Theater.  For more information or submission details, please go to

Now in it’s 14th year the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival is a volunteer run annual celebration and competition that brings the most diverse slate of films to the Port City with an enhanced focus on regional filmmakers.  Last year was the biggest year in festival history breaking previous attendance records with four sold out screenings including the premiere of the Wilmington filmed HEART OF THE COUNTRY. 
The Cape Fear Independent Film Festival is Wilmington’s only competitive film festival awarding cash and prizes in a number of categories including BEST FEATURE and BEST LOCAL FILM.  This year, a new category has been added to honor Wilmington native Don Payne.
Wilmington, NC native Don Payne (May 5, 1964 – March 26, 2013) was an American writer and producer.  Payne began writing for television on the sitcom Hope and Gloria before becoming a writer on The Simpsons and would eventually go on to help produce. Payne later moved into writing feature films, including My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), and co-wrote Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Thor (2011) and its sequel Thor: The Dark World (In theaters this November). Payne died from bone cancer in March 2013.
The Cape Fear Independent Film Network wanted to honor the creative spirit of Don Payne by naming their annual screenwriting award “The Don”.   Each year, “The Don” award will be presented  to the “best produced independent feature screenplay” (think the Oscar for best screenplay, but more fun and less politics), honoring a unique voice in screenwriting.This year’s judging panel will consist of five decision makers; Wilmington Screenwriters and Script Analysts, Langley McArol, Terry Linehan, and Tammy Arnold, and two of Don Payne’s friends, Joel H. Cohen, former Saturday Night Live writer and Writer/Producer of The Simpsons (2001-2013) and The Simpsons Movie (2007), and Carolyn Omine. former Full House writer and Writer/Producer of The Simpsons (2000-2013).  Joel H. Cohen and Carolyn Omine have been awarded by their peers with both Emmy and Writers Guild Awards.  For this year’s festival, they will serve as “special guest judges” in the best produced independent feature screenplay category.
Submission details can be found at the festival’s website: