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NoDa Film Festival

The NoDa Film Festival began in February 2006 with a free three-day festival celebrating African American cinema. It focused on great-but-underexposed African American films and filmmakers, including such acclaimed films as Daughters of the Dust and the hip hop documentary Style Wars. Our second festival featured Great Asian Cinema in August 2006. It offered an overview of this vibrant film culture that included everything from kung-fu classics to historical melodramas to modern masterpieces. Our mission is to foster community by presenting high-quality cinema that is largely unavailable elsewhere. The NoDa Film Festival aims to highlight great movies from throughout international film history and draw from multiple genres including documentary, foreign, vintage Hollywood, independent, experimental, and silent films. We hope to show that these films can be just as fun and relevant as the ones playing at the local multiplex. Thanks to a recent grant from the Charlotte Arts & Science Council, admission will remain free so that everyone can afford to enjoy the rich and exciting history of cinema. The full schedule with synopses for the next festival can be found at

French New Wave Cinema

The NoDa Film Festival returns from Sunday, February 25 to Tuesday, February 27 to the historic Neighborhood Theater. This time we’re celebrating “French New Wave Cinema,” the movement that transformed movies and paved the way for today’s independent film culture. Co-sponsored by the Alliance Francaise, the festival is FREE and open to the public.

The New Wave took movies away from the studios and gave them back to the filmmakers themselves. Shot on location and on the fly, French New Wave cinema was smart, irreverent, and fun. “All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun,” New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard once remarked. The New Wave breathed fresh air into the stodgy climate of the 1950s and inspired moviemakers around the world. Pulp Fiction’s Quentin Tarrantino even named his production company after a New Wave film.

There’s something at the festival for everyone. Almost every genre is represented, including musicals, comedies, coming-of-age stories, thrillers, WWII dramas, science fiction, horror, and more. Some highlights include:

• Army of Shadows – Made in 1969, this film was released in the U.S. for the first time in 2006 and quickly became the most critically acclaimed movie of the year. It was voted “Best Film of 2006” by the New York Times, Premiere, Sight and Sound, Village Voice, Salon, and more! Drawing on the director’s experiences in the underground during World War II, Army of Shadows follows a band of resistance fighters living in Germany-controlled France. We’re proud to be giving this thrilling tour-de-force its Charlotte Premiere!

• The Umbrellas of Cherbourg – This Valentine to the classic Hollywood musical stars Catherine Deneuve and features a score by Michel Legrand. Winner of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and nominated for five Academy Awards, this symphony of eye-popping colors and ravishing music is a must-see on the big screen.

• Zazie in the Metro – An inventive slapstick comedy from famed director Louis Malle. Rarely seen in this country, it’s a charming and uproarious story about a precocious 11-year-old girl who visits Paris and the zany characters she encounters. Based on the cult-classic novel.

• The 400 Blows – Roger Ebert calls this coming-of-age drama “one of the most intensely touching stories ever made.” Director Francois Truffaut based the story on his own childhood and offers a sensitive-but-unsentimental portrait of aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime.

• Eyes Without A Face – A masterpiece of poetic horror, this movie recounts the story of a doctor who attempts radical plastic surgery to restore his daughter’s disfigured face. Simultaneously ghastly and lyrical, this rarely-shown gem has influenced many horror films over the years.

We’re also screening Jean-Luc Godard’s stylish and influential Alphaville, a science fiction film made without any special effects; and Les Bonnes Femmes, an atmospheric film noir about four Parisian shop girls looking for love made by the filmmaker acclaimed as the “Hitchcock of France.”

The full schedule with synopses for all the films can be found at

About NoDa Film Festival