OCT. 10, 2014


Charlotte Film Society Brings Noted Films and Filmmakers to Charlotte with Knight Foundation Support


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Film Society will use a $30,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to bring nationally-recognized filmmakers to town to screen and discuss their work with Charlotte area audiences.

The gift will enhance the film society’s ability to promote Charlotte as a hub of independent cinema by connecting local film enthusiasts and local filmmakers with directors of noted feature films and documentaries. The 10-12 screenings and post-film discussions — at various indoor and outdoor venues — will be presented as part of the Charlotte Film Lab, the newest of the society’s three film series.

“Knight Foundation’s support will make it possible for us to grow the number of quality films screened in Charlotte,” said Charlotte Film Society President Brad Ritter. “And we’ll also be able to offer the Charlotte community a chance to meet and pose questions to these independent filmmakers. We look forward to some exciting films and post-film discussions with talented directors.”

“Film is a powerful way to bring a community together, to discuss issues and ideas that help them understand their lives, city and world,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for Knight Foundation. “We hope this grant helps build both a sense of community and a community of filmmakers who can tell Charlotte stories.”

The Charlotte Film Lab, which was launched this year, has already begun spotlighting local and regional films and filmmakers at venues all around Charlotte. In July, it screened “My Name is Paul,” a modern re-telling of the story of St. Paul, at the NoDa Brewery, with director Trey Ore. And in August, the Charlotte Film Lab drew a large audience for “Back of the Line,” a documentary about immigrants living in Charlotte. The post-film discussion included director Toby Shearer and some of the families featured in the film.

Thanks to Knight Foundation support, the Charlotte Film Lab will soon expand its mission to invite national and international filmmakers to screen and discuss their films in Charlotte.

Coming up on Oct. 23: British director Rebecca Kenyon will screen and speak about “Something You Can Call Home” a documentary about homelessness in Wilmington, N.C; it will be shown at UNC Charlotte Center City.

And on Nov. 8, the Charlotte Film Lab will present “Finding Vivian Maier” and its co-director Charlie Siskel.  His Documentary feature about a nanny who turns out to be one of America’s great street photographers is among the year’s most rapturously reviewed films.  Mr. Siskel will screen and speak about “Finding Vivian Maier” on Nov. 8 at Wells Fargo Auditorium.  The Charlotte premiere will be co-sponsored by The Light Factory.

These events are only the beginning of what promises to be a series that will enrich Charlotte’s menu of arts opportunities.

“This will not only expose the Charlotte community to an array of creative talent and films, it will also introduce these filmmakers to Charlotte and the audiences and venues here who support independent cinema,” said Will Davis, Charlotte Film Lab Coordinator.  “This amazing opportunity will deepen our community’s relationship with those in the world of independent film.”


About the Charlotte Film Society

Founded in 1982, the Charlotte Film Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing foreign, independent and art house films to Charlotte that would not otherwise be shown here. Our commitment to spotlighting alternative cinema continues through our three film series: the Saturday Night Cine Club, the Back Alley Film Series and the Charlotte Film Lab. For more, visit


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit



Charlotte Film Society: Brad Ritter, 704-577-8221;

Knight Foundation: Anusha Alikhan, 305-908-2677;