If you’ve been following along, you probably know by now that we’re BIG on building community at Joedance! Community support is a pillar of Joedance with a deeply rooted meaning that stems from one of Joe’s final revelations he shared in his speech at McCallie. He spoke about the importance of community while fighting a disease so powerful. Joe used his community to regain strength time and time again. Now, over a decade later, we’re thankful for the strength and encouragement we’ve received from our communities – we truly wouldn’t be here without your support!
One community we’re thankful for is our talented group of filmmakers. Each year we ask our filmmakers the question, “Why do you Joedance?” Their answers always motivate and inspire us! But, beyond the festival, the filmmakers have a community that’s rich in collaboration, storytelling, and companionship. We sat down with one filmmaker to learn more about companionship behind the scenes.
Friendships In Filmmaking
“The community created by Joedance filmmakers is rich in strong storytelling and companionship,” said Andrew Huggins, a veteran Joedance filmmaker. “I’m friends with many of the filmmakers that have been involved in Joedance, and each of us considers our involvement in this community to be one of our most substantial achievements as filmmakers,” he said.
We’ve met so many talented filmmakers over the past decade. It’s truly an honor to hear that they hold Joedance in such high regard! In the beginning, the Restaino family didn’t know a lot about filmmaking, but they did enjoy watching films together. Now, all of the directors, producers, writers, and actors in the film community have become part of our Joedance community giving us greater strength and support – just like Joe said in his McCallie speech.
Storytelling Is An Art That Requires Collaboration
“I feel like we have a duty to every audience member to deliver an entertaining experience, but also a deeply emotional one,” said Huggins. Sometimes great storytelling requires collaboration. And when our Joedance filmmakers join forces, the results are always phenomenal!
“John Sexton and his wife Donna Whitmore-Sexton reached out to me a few years ago about collaborating on their short film, Curb Service. We had such a blast making that film that we just finished our third film together last fall, Grave Talk,” said Huggins on his recent collaboration with John and Donna. “Creating a story then getting to express its details with a camera and actors is something I don’t take for granted and am very blessed to have been able to do for years here in North Carolina,” he said.
Join Our Growing Community
Each year, members of the film community gather not only in support of their films but also our cause. Together, we’ve created a community that’s rich in friendship, support, talent, and ongoing motivation to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research at Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s.
There are so many opportunities to join our Joedance community beyond the film festival. Whether through a donation, volunteering, or becoming a G.E.M., your small contribution adds up in a BIG way when it comes to the fight against pediatric cancer.