Circus News

Inaugural Circus International Film Festival Award Winners Announced!

Prior to this year, there was no space specifically dedicated to circus films. Circus filmmakers struggled to be recognized for their work, because they did not have their own category. The first ever Circus International Film Festival has created an arena for circus and film professionals to come together, share their art, and receive credit.

This festival was made possible by 17 volunteers, including the 12 jury members: Eve Gordon (NZ), Patti Chambers (USA), Stacy Gubar (Youth Representative, USA), Jasmine Straga (AUS), Francine Price (USA), Blake Lavia (ITA), Christo Tsiaras (USA), Veronica Blair (USA), Genis Matabosch (ESP), Nerissa Williams (USA), Pavel Kotov (CAN), and Gypsy Snider (CAN/USA). Volunteer staff members, Jonathan Meehan of Cirque du Soleil‘s The Beatles LOVE, Emily Fulton of Flying Gravity Circus, and AYCO‘s Hup Squad were also an integral part of the genesis of this festival. To break down the numbers: 95 films were submitted from 25 countries, 84 films from 23 countries were selected and screened by 79 – 1.1K audience members, and 1,079 attendees registered for access to the films. The festival was sponsored by Firetoys, Circus Concepts, Las Vegas Circus Center, SPARC, Zoe w/ TH, CirqueUs, AYCO/ACE, Diamond Family Circus, and the Invisible Ocean Movement & Meditation.

CircusTalk would like to congratulate the winners of the 2021 inaugural Circus International Film Festival!

The Juried Award Winners are:
Izzi Kessner (USA): Roses and Thorns. Award sponsored by AYCO/ACE and Diamond Family Circus.
Antoine Menard (FRA): New Horizons.
Tamzen Moulding (UK): Wake.Award sponsored by Invisible Ocean Movement & Meditation.
Joel Gershon (USA): Cirque du Cambodia.
Honorable Mentions:
Lukas Berger (AUT): Circus Movements.
Matthew Richardson (USA): Hallelujah.
Noeli Acoba & LeeAnn Ball (USA & CAN): Gone.
Audience Choice Awards (sponsored by Firetoys):
Arelly Cantellano (MEX): Fer Sumundo
Antoine Menard (FRA): Zéro Vulnérablité
Katelyn Ryan (CAN): TEN

Marisa Diamond, Founder/Festival Director of the Circus International Film Festival, explains the origin of the festival:

“We are so grateful for the response to the inaugural Circus International Film Festival. I started the festival this year for a few reasons: No film festival for circus film existed previous to the creation of this festival. As a filmmaker and circus performer, I have had screendance films shown in film festivals, but my circus films have had less success because they don’t fit into any specific category or festival.”

The Circus International Film Festival was screened on World Circus Day, featuring all 11 juried and audience choice winners and honorable mention films, including interviews with the winners. The festival has big plans for 2022, and hope to add more networking events, panels, film screenings.

Lydia Nord
Performer, Writer, Associate Editor -United States
Lydia is a Sailor Circus graduate currently based in Florida who was featured in the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. She is a Florida State University alumna and former member of the FSU Flying High Circus who received a degree in Media Communication Studies and Spanish. Her disciplines include trapeze, aerial silks, and Spanish web. Lydia is happily a part of the CircusTalk team as a journalism associate editor, combining her love for media and all things circus.

Lydia Nord

Lydia is a Sailor Circus graduate currently based in Florida who was featured in the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. She is a Florida State University alumna and former member of the FSU Flying High Circus who received a degree in Media Communication Studies and Spanish. Her disciplines include trapeze, aerial silks, and Spanish web. Lydia is happily a part of the CircusTalk team as a journalism associate editor, combining her love for media and all things circus.