Charlotte’s Joedance Film Festival Announces “Reimagined” Joedance Virtual Film Festival


Joedance Film Festival is making a strategic pivot in wake of COVID-19 and will reimagine the 11-year-old event as Joedance Virtual Film Festival, August 6-8, 2020, rather than the traditional venue, Charlotte Ballet.

The plan is to return to Charlotte Ballet for the 2021 Festival.

Joedance Virtual Film Festival will live-stream Thursday and Friday (Aug. 6-7), 7:30-10:30 p.m., and Saturday, for student films, 1-2 p.m. Tickets, which start at $10 (students) and $20 (regular) and $70 (all-access passes), can be purchased through the following link on the Joedance website.

Proceeds from Joedance Virtual Film Festival will be donated to Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s to benefit rare pediatric cancer research. The festival will feature short films created by filmmakers with a connection to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and/or Tennessee.

*All events suitable for mature audiences only.*

Joedance offers two different ways to view the Virtual Festival:

  • *All-Access Pass | $70.00
    • Purchase an All-Access Pass and get access to all virtual events and virtual screenings in the 2020 Joedance Virtual Film Festival.
  • *Individual Tickets | $20.00
    • Purchase individual tickets for certain nights of the festival and get access to that evening’s virtual reception, virtual screening, and livestream Q&A with the filmmakers.

The COVID-19 pivot was necessary, according to Diane Restaino, Joedance founder and President.

“Part of the magic of Joedance is the sense of community and ambience of our nights at the Charlotte Ballet,” Restaino said. “But there is no question that our priority right now is the health and well-being of our filmmakers and audience. Having this year’s Festival virtual is the right thing to do, and I think it will be its own ‘reimagined’ success.”

“Transitioning to a virtual festival was a difficult but necessary choice for us to make as we are committed to keeping our patrons, volunteers, and staff safe. We are excited to bring Joedance to your living room or driveway this year and continue to provide a platform for supporting filmmakers as well as the important work we do with Levine Children’s,” said Joedance Festival Manager Ben McCarthy, who has vast experience with a variety of film festival formats.

Joedance is riding a wave of expansion as it celebrates its 11th anniversary, including adding Georgia and Tennessee to the list of the Festival’s film eligibility list, and adding a student film category, which will be showcased Saturday afternoon on Festival weekend.

Joedance, which includes the annual film festival during the first full weekend in August and related events year-round, honors the memory of Joe Restaino by raising funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research at Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s through an annual film festival featuring directors, producers, writers and actors who share a connection with the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. The family chose a film festival to honor Joe Restaino because of his love of movies.

Joedance supports research and clinical trials for pediatric sarcomas, blastomas and brain tumors.

To date, Joedance has donated more than $205,000 to Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s in 10 years, including $35,000 in 2019.

Joedance Film Festival Submissions

Joedance Film Festival annually showcases short and feature-length films. Eligible filmmakers have to:

*reside in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia or Tennessee;

*be originally from North, Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia or Tennessee;


*be connected to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia or Tennessee (films, cast or crew).

To donate to Joedance, visit, or mail contributions directly to: Joedance Film Festival, 301 W. 10th Street, Unit 407, Charlotte, NC 28202.

Joe Restaino

Joe Restaino died of osteosarcoma on January 8, 2010, at the age of 20. A resident of Fourth Ward in Charlotte, Restaino graduated with high honors and was a varsity swimmer at The McCallie School in Chattanooga in 2008 before moving on to the University of Pennsylvania. He was treated for the first occurrence of the disease in 2006 during his high school sophomore year. The cancer recurred in 2008 during his senior year at The McCallie School. The third recurrence of his cancer happened his freshman year at Penn. Joe withdrew from school to be with his family.

During the 2008 graduation ceremony at McCallie – which Joe Restaino was able to attend between cancer treatments – he received the Campbell Award, one of the school’s highest honors, voted on by the student body. In 2007, Joe Restaino established the Bone Cancer Awareness Walk at The McCallie School and continued to raise money for pediatric cancer research. (That walk is now held jointly with Girls Preparatory School of Chattanooga and has been renamed Mission: Remission.) In August 2010, eight months after Joe’s death, his family established the Joedance Film Festival to support the research and clinical trials for rare pediatric cancer at Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s.