Celebrating the Intersection of Circus and Cinema - The 4th Circus International Film Festival Announces Its Jury - CircusTalk

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Celebrating the Intersection of Circus and Cinema – The 4th Circus International Film Festival Announces Its Jury

Since its establishment in 2020, The Circus International Film Festival (CIFF) has evolved into a global hub for the Circus Cinematic Universe. With a repertoire of over 180 circus films from 50 countries, the festival is dedicated to celebrating the art of the circus through the lens of film, establishing itself as a pivotal force in these extraordinary genres.

The enduring connection between a performer and their audience is irreplaceable, a truth underscored by the challenges posed by the pandemic. Artists, confined to their homes, grappled with the task of sustaining their ability to inspire and evoke emotions. The Arts Industry, reliant on live interactions, faced unprecedented setbacks as shows shut down, theaters closed, and countless individuals found themselves unemployed.

The digital landscape, spurred by the ascendancy of social media giants like Meta and TikTok, alongside streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+, underwent a rapid transformation. In this shift to an online-centric world, the question lingered: where does a live entertainment industry like the circus find its place? Surprisingly, the pandemic acted as a catalyst, propelling the Circus Cinematic Universe to new heights. Despite the constraints of quarantine, artists persevered, adapting their skills to the digital realm, resulting in a surge of captivating circus film content.

Enter Marisa Diamond, the visionary founder of the Circus International Film Festival. An Indigenous and Latina creator, Diamond, a graduate of the University of Michigan, brings a unique blend of skills and experience. As a seasoned performer in dance, acting, and circus arts, her interdisciplinary background positions her as a leader in this space. Her commitment to providing a platform for the global audience to experience these compelling stories has propelled the festival to the forefront of the industry.

This cinematic revolution has not only provided employment opportunities for both the film and circus sectors but has also inspired unprecedented creativity in the dynamic interplay between circus and film. Artists embraced new skills, delving into the intricacies of storyboarding, understanding the role of a Director of Photography, and recognizing the significance of a shotlist. Concurrently, filmmakers learned how to seamlessly edit transitions during a circus act, capturing intricate tricks in ways that bring the audience closer to the performer than ever before.

The Circus International Film Festival offers an ideal space for artists to showcase their newfound skills, pushing the boundaries of the Circus Film industry while being evaluated by leading experts in both genres.

The jury for the fourth annual Circus International Film Festival mirrors the diversity of the films submitted. Experts in performance, artistic direction, choreography, acrobatic conception, stunt performance, visual effects, producing, directing, and editing comprise this distinguished panel. The 2024 Jury members include Izzi Kessner, Christo Tsiaras, Miguel Garcia, Fredrick Buford, Eve Gordon, Veronica Blair, Johnny Kim, Tristan Cunningham, Thomas Chambers, Joel Gershon, Eric Bates, Daniel Martin, and the newest member, Victoria Liu.

Victoria Liu’s journey, from her early passion for music to her current role as a VFX Production expert, adds a unique perspective to the jury. Her involvement with large studio productions and her love for the circus, cultivated during a summer job with Cirque du Soleil, further enrich the CIFF jury. Liu’s anticipation for the festival is palpable: “I’m interested in the festival to see the blend of different art forms, especially the two I’m a part of…I’m interested to see what they create because there are just so many possibilities,” as expressed in an interview with CIFF’s online series, “Off Script.”

As the festival enters its fourth season, the growth of the industry is unmistakable. Each passing year sees films becoming more sophisticated, pushing the competition bar higher. The integration of drone cinematography allows filmmakers to capture expansive wide-angle shots alongside intimate angles with circus performers, an innovation unseen in previous seasons.

The fully online festival, running from March 14 to mid-April, will culminate in an award ceremony on World Circus Day, April 17.

For more information about the jury members, visit the CIFF website.

Tickets for the festival are now available for purchase; follow the link below to secure your tickets today. 

Stay updated with the latest announcements by following CIFF on Instagram: @circusinternationalfilmfest

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