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:
Audience Choice Awards (sponsored by Firetoys):
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.