It was great bringing CIRCLE UP to the screen for the first time at the Rhode Island International Film Festival on Friday. It felt pretty intense and meaningful having film subjects Janet, AJ, and Charmise there on stage for the Q&A. Several audience members were crying and hugging them after the show.
We just got news, too, that out of 295 films screened at RIFF, the film won Best Feature Documentary Grand Prize!
I thought the film fit very well with the two shorts that preceded it: The Geneva Connection, a French fiction piece by Benôit Martin about a group of young people heading towards conflict over 40 euros owed to one of them, and Revolving Doors, a documentary by James Burns about the struggles of father who is recently released from prison to stay clean and support his family. Both films take a restorative approach to societal harm, as does CIRCLE UP.
Kudos to RIFF Program Director Shawn Quirk for the thoughtful programming!
P.S. While we were there, my daughter Maya set up an Instagram account for CIRCLE UP - follow us @circleupdoc.