Want to support York County filmmakers? See their work at Charlotte film festival

Two York County filmmakers will have their work featured this week at a Charlotte film festival.

Films by Juli Emmons of Rock Hill and Justin Robinson of Fort Mill were selected for the 10th Annual Joedance Film Festival Aug. 1-3 at the Charlotte Ballet, a release from the festival states. Both films will be shown Aug. 3.

Emmons is the producer of the film “Sarah’s Big Day.” The film’s description reads “a story about a young girl who wakes up to find her parents have died, and all that’s left is her imaginary friend.”

Emmons said the writer enjoys movies with a dark thriller vibe.

Emmons has been in the filmmaking business for 15 years, working as a freelance casting director and producing independent films. Emmons also used to act, but changed gears.

“I found I liked being behind the camera more,” she said.

Emmons said she is looking forward to being a part of Joedance this year.

“It’s one of the best film festivals we have in the area,” she said.

Robinson, 28, directed “Guest of Honor.” The film’s description reads “a devout Nazi oversees a group of taste testers for Hitler.”

Robinson said his film is inspired by true events and the life of Margot Woelk. She was among a group of women selected to taste Adolf Hitler’s food to be sure it was safe during World War II, reports Smithsonian Magazine.

Robinson said he discovered a passion for filmmaking in the early 2000s, using a VHS camcorder and editing tape-to-tape.

“Initially, it started as a way to spend my time with my brother outside of basketball, but after a few years of constant videos, my love for filmmaking grew from what some might consider a hobby, to a dream and constant goal,” Robinson said in a message to The Herald.

The Charlotte film festival accepted entries from South and North Carolina producers, directors, writers and actors, the release states. Both short and feature-length films will be presented.

Robinson is from Palm Bay, Fla., but has lived in Fort Mill for longer than a year.

“I’m really stoked to have a film of mine play in Charlotte, to meet local filmmakers and film lovers,” Robinson said in a message to The Herald. “I haven’t been here long but it’s cool to see a city embrace film with the few festivals they do have. I’m excited to submit more and more to this city.”

The Joedance Film Festival annually raises money and awareness for pediatric cancer research at Atrium Health, the release states. In nine years, the festival has raised more than $170,000.

The funds support clinical trials and research for pediatric blastomas, brain tumors and sarcomas, the release states.

The Joedance Pediatric Cancer Fund, administered through the Atrium Health Foundation, is in honor of the late Joe Restaino, who died in 2010 at the age of 20 from bone cancer, the release states.

“The family chose a film festival to honor their son because of his love of movies,” states the release.

Want to go?

What: Joedance Film Festival

When: 7 -10:30 p.m. Aug. 1-3

Where: Charlotte Ballet, 701 N. Tryon St, Charlotte

Tickets: Start at $30 at carolinatix.org.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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