NoDa Film Festival

Building culture and community through film.

In the heart of an eclectic arts district, on the outskirts of a town that exists as the nation's banking capital, the NoDa Film Festival's goal was to raise cultural awareness through film. Film that most would never see otherwise. A grassroots effort by a few individuals – dedicated and passionate – the film festival grew to a recurring audience upwards of 3,500 attendees, more than tripling in size by the fourth film festival.

We bootstrapped with minimal funding and over a couple of years held eight film festivals drawing crowds in the thousands. I’ll never forget when the theatre was packed well beyond capacity, the aisle ways filled with people sitting on the floor and standing room only in the back. We were in serious violation of many fire codes! A new found measure of success.


Now more than ever we need to talk to each other, to listen to each other and understand how we see the world, and cinema is the best medium for doing this.

Martin Scorsee

In developing and building a film festival, there was much to learn. We partnered directly with the executive director to help brainstorm potential themes for the film festivals, programming, marketing, and much more. We worked to craft the brand and design for all aspects of the festival, grassroots marketing, and much more. As a volunteer organization, responsibilities were wide ranging: brand and design, watching lots of films, website development, photography, working as an usher, printing and putting up posters, and of course, much more. There was never a dull moment!

Film, as an artistic expression, can alter one’s view of the world in an instant. In a few flickering frames.

The NoDa Film Festival forged relationships that have grown stronger over the last 8+ years. It was a wonderful experience. Whether brainstorming the programming, designing the posters, biking around town putting up posters, working the actual events, we made many friends along the way. And ultimately, our team had an impact on the community.

Valuable Lessons Learned

All experiences provide benefit, often unrealized at the time. In retrospect, the NoDa Film Festival prepared us for many future endeavors. Learning to work with a volunteer team, coordinating efforts, picking up slack, seeing partnerships grow, and jumping in at a moments notice have been recurring themes in many ventures since. The success of an endeavor is more important than one's own view of personal role.

We'd be thrilled to hear your thoughts, comments, & feedback!


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