What started as a neighborhood outdoor movie night has evolved into a successful Charlotte film festival to raise funds for pediatric cancer research.
Joedance Film Festival is held the first weekend in August in Charlotte. This year marked the 9th annual festival and a major milestone for growth. Originally held in a townhome courtyard in Uptown Charlotte, Joedance recently expanded to the Charlotte Ballet Center of Dance. Several hundred people gathered for this year’s event, which screened 13 short films by film directors, writers and producers who have a Charlotte connection.
“This was the first year it was at the Charlotte Ballet Center for Dance and it was fabulous,” said Diane, Joe’s mom and founding president of Joedance Film Festival. “Changing venues was good for the festival. It felt like we grew up!”
The two-day film festival is held in memory of Joe who passed away at age 20 from bone cancer in 2010. Funds raised support rare pediatric cancer research and clinical trials at Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital. Many of the things that Joedance funds came from discussions that Joe’s family had with him before he passed away.
“As a family, we had time to deal with Joe’s cancer,” said Diane, Joe’s mom and founding president of Joedance Film Festival. “He was of an age to understand what was going on and wanted us to continue to raise funds for Levine Children’s Hospital. For him to make a list of what he wanted us to do gave us a clear path.”
In fulfilling Joe’s wishes, the organization established a paid summer internship program at Levine Children’s Hospital for college students in the medical field. It also funds the recurrent bone cancer trial at Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital and the Isabella Santos Foundation. It has also committed to fund first-line research technicians at Levine Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cancer research lab, which will open in 2019. For the past six years, Joedance coordinates Modern Salon & Spa to do a spa day every other month for the parents at Levine Children’s Hospital. To date, Joedance has donated over $150,000 to Levine Children’s Hospital.
Joedance is also the beneficiary of the Premier Property Solutions Panthers Tailgate Party. The next one will take place on Sunday, November 4 at 1341 S. Mint Street. If you’re in the area, stop by and support Joedance while cheering on our Carolina Panthers.