In 2006, Joe Restaino was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left leg. In the four years following this initial diagnosis, Joe underwent a leg salvaging surgery, two different rounds of chemotherapy, and four lung surgeries. Despite it all, Joe passed away in 2010 at the tender age of 20. The Joedance Film Festival was founded the same year to raise funds and awareness for rare pediatric cancer research conducted by Levine Children’s Hospital’s Torrence E. Hemby Jr. Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Center (especially research aimed at improving treatment of sarcomas, blastomas, and brain tumors).
The 12th annual film festival will take place August 5 – 7, 2021 and feature short films created by filmmakers with a connection to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.