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2023 Circle Cinema Film Festival

Presented by The Mayo Hotel

Celebrating Circle Cinema's 95th Birthday
Thursday July 13 - Sunday July 16

The Circle Cinema Film Festival returns this July with a special celebration for Circle Cinema's 95th birthday! Join us for four days of the best new independent art, music, and film from Oklahoma alongside memories from Circle Cinema’s history.

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Thursday July 13
Exclusive VIP Kickoff Party

The Festival begins with an exclusive VIP kickoff party for All-Access pass holders and sponsors, including a screening of the new film “Enlighten” by Tulsa filmmaker Keith “Sneak” Daniels.

Friday July 14
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Fri 7/14, 5:15p: "Cheese Sisters" Comedy | 30min 

Click here for tickets - Just $5 each!

with Connie Franklin (director), Roger Cude (producer) and Jack Copeland (editor) Q&A 

Summoned by an estate attorney, two complete strangers, Alex (Connie Franklin) and Ronnie (Kia Dorsey), are shocked to find out that not only are they sisters but they're both named in their biological father's will. Only there's a catch. Can Ronnie and Alex abide by the terms in the will and keep their inheritance? Before the feature, enjoy the short film "Love Lens."

Cheese Sisters
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SOLD OUT Fri 7/14, 6:30p: "Oklahoma Breakdown: The Mike Hosty Story" Documentary | 92min

with Mike Hosty and director Christopher Fitzpatrick Q&A moderated by Ryan Allen (OK POP) + Mike Hosty live performance at Rush Fest

There will be a waitlist line night of show, with any unclaimed sponsor and all-access pass tickets opened to the public 15min before showtime.


All ticket holders get FREE admission to see Mike Hosty play live at Heirloom Rustic Ales right after the screening as part of Rush Fest in Kendall Whittier. Mike Hosty is a comedic one-man-band legend in Oklahoma. He doesn’t have a promoter or gimmick to get plays on Spotify. Those who know his talents swear by him. His sound fills up the room of a 4-piece band without relying on drum loops or triggers. There is simply nobody on earth quite like him. His song “Oklahoma Breakdown” was covered by Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue and blew up so much in Texas that it was the top-selling single for all of 2007. This documentary explores why a legend of the underground avoids the limelight when he could be a millionaire.

Fri 7/14, 9:00p: "Model House" Thriller | 85min 

Click here for tickets

with director Derek Pike Q&A via Zoom plus animated short by Tulsan Joe Cappa before the feature


Five famous models staying in a secluded house for the night are terrorized by intruders who break in to extort money from their followers

OK Breakdown
Model House
Saturday July 15
Sat 7/15, 10:00a: FREE Kids hour with Indigenous Shorts

Three Shorts | 60min total duration | Suitable for all ages 


Start Saturday with a FREE family-friendly program. Bring the kids and see three locally-made Indigenous short films including two produced for "Sesame Street." Plus free coloring activities for kids from the Cherokee Nation! Shorts include:

Meet Reignen

Meet Wa.Sta.Tse

ᏥᏍᏚ ᏗᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅ (Rabbit Stories) - in Cherokee with subtitles

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Sat 7/15, 11:00a: FREE Crystal Kayiza Films + Conversation with director Crystal Kayiza, moderated by Autumn Brown, PhD (Assistant Professor, Oklahoma Oral History Research Program)

Edgecombe: Documentary | 15min

See You Next Time: Documentary | 6min

Rest Stop: Drama | 12min


Meet Crystal Kayiza, Emmy-winning filmmaker and part of the 2023 Oklahoma Walk of Fame class. Three of her shorts will play followed by a discussion moderated by Autumn Brown, PhD. Crystal got her start at the Jenks student film program, and has received numerous awards and recognition on her way to being named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 new faces of independent film.” Her latest short fiction film “Rest Stop” debuted at Sundance 2023, winning the short film jury award.

Sat 7/15, 11:30a: Exploring Feminism in Horror film + conversation with Julia Holeman, host of Sisters of Cinema Film Club
Click here for tickets - Just $5 each!

The Love Witch: Horror | 120min


Dive deep in the horror genre at a special screening of “The Love Witch” followed by an in-depth discussion. Julia Holeman (educator and host of Sisters of Cinema Film Club) will talk about the genre and intersecting themes after the movie.

Sat 7/15, 12:00p: FREE Circle Cinema 95th Birthday Celebration with special guests from the 2023 Oklahoma Walk of Fame Class


Everyone is invited to join us in the lobby as Circle celebrates its 95th birthday! There will be cake, memories from Circle’s history, and special guests from the 2023 Walk of Fame class incuding filmmakers Crystal Kayiza, Kyle Bell, John Swab, and Mickey Reece.

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Sat 7/15: Bad Press Bad Press: Documentary | 98min
Click here for tickets

In partnership with KOSU and Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Reception at 1:00p with food from Autumn Star Catering, short film "Ghosts" and feature at 2:00p followed by Q&A with with Becca Landsberry-Baker (director), Angel Ellis (reporter featured in the film), Shannon Shaw Duty (Osage News editor), and Jerrad Moore (Mvskoke Media reporter) moderated by Allison Herrera (KOSU Indigenous Affairs reporter).


Presented as part of the Native Spotlight Series sponsored by the Flint Family Foundation.

Sundance award winner, U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize: Freedom of Expression. When the Muscogee Nation suddenly begins censoring their free press, a rogue reporter fights to expose her government’s corruption in a historic battle that will have ramifications for all of Indian Country.

Bad Prss
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Sat 7/15, 2:30p: Riding Legacy Documentary | 60min
Click here for tickets

with Nicole Jocleen (producer), Kian Taylor (co-director), and James Ridley (co-director) Q&A moderated by Autumn Brown, PhD (Assistant Professor, Oklahoma Oral History Research Program)


See a doc about Black Oklahomans’ history through the lens of cowboy culture.

Sat 7/15, 5:30p: Student Shorts part 1 with filmmaker Q&A
Sun 7/16, 11:00a: Student Shorts part 2 with filmmaker Q&A
Click here for tickets


Click here for a list of all the shorts. We had such a great response to our open submission short film programs we split them in two parts this year! These program will feature new short films made by talented student filmmakers from across the state.

Sat 7/15, 2:30p: Psychopath Documentary | 83min
Click here for tickets

with filmmakers Manny Marquez and Suzette Marquez Q&A plus animated short by Tulsan Joe Cappa before the feature


Oklahoma garbageman Victor Marquez has held a lifelong dream of creating gruesome makeup effects for Hollywood movies, but life got in the way and Victor deferred his dream to start a family with the love of his life. Twenty-five years later, husband and wife pool their life savings to purchase acreage where Victor will put together a haunted house that showcases his ghoulish talents, a risky business venture in rural Oklahoma where such celebrations of the macabre raise the ire of locals who perpetuate racial stereotypes.

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Sat 7/15, 5:00p: Fancy Dance Drama | 90min

with Dylan Brodie (co-producer), Rockee Harjo (location manager) and Charles Elmore (camera operator) Q&A moderated by Brit Hensel (award-winning filmmaker).


Sundance nominee, Grand Jury Prize. A Native American hustler kidnaps her niece from her white grandparents and sets out for the state powwow in the hope of keeping what's left of their family intact.

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Sat 7/15: Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection Documentary | 90min
Click here for tickets

4:30p reception with Magic City Books and author Randy Schmidt book signing. 5:30p film with Randy Schmidt (writer/producer), Andy Streitfeld (executive producer), and Brad Osborne (editor) Q&A moderated by Jeff Martin (Magic City Books). Encore screening of the film Sun 7/16, 1:30p with Q&A moderated by Jeff Huston (Oklahoma Film Critics Circle)

Oklahoman Randy Schmidt wrote the book on Karen Carpenter - literally! He's the writer and producer of this new doc that draws from his bestselling biography Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. Karen was the first in a long line of celebrities to suffer from an eating disorder during an era when the vastly misunderstood phenomenon brought shame and public humiliation. For the first time in this film, we hear Karen Carpenter’s personal struggle in her own voice through never-before-released recordings—and through the legendary voices of those who knew her and were inspired by her music.

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Sat 7/15, 7:30p: Oklahoma Underground Documentary | 30min
Click here for tickets

with director Brea Mullen Q&A moderated by Bianca Caampued (Tulsa Creative Engine). Stay after the show for a "Miami in Tulsa" party in the lobby featuring art from the film on display, drink specials, and a live DJ.


Click here to read a Tulsa People feature on filmmaker and Tulsan Brea Mullen. Eight artists from Tulsa, Oklahoma travel to Miami, FL to exhibit during one of America's most prestigious art weeks. Bringing an unheard voice to the coast, these artists band together as a community as they test their limits in a new environment full of possibility.

Sat 7/15, 8:00p: Okie Shorts part 1 with filmmaker Q&A
Click here for tickets
Sun 7/16, 1:30p: Okie Shorts part 2 with filmmaker Q&A
Click here for tickets


Click here for a list of all the shorts. Our collection of new short films continues with works from great Oklahoma amateur and professional filmmakers!

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Sat 7/15, 9:00p: Hell Hath No Fury Comedy | 70min
Click here for tickets

with Zachary Burns (director), Jacob Burns (writer) and Leah Philpott (lead actor) Q&A moderated by Yousef Kazemi (Oklahoma Film + Music Office) + new animated short by Tulsan Joe Cappa before the film


A husband and wife separately and unknowingly plot to murder each other on the same fateful night.

Sun 7/16, 12:00p: Exploring Feminism in Horror film + conversation with Kris Rose, author of Mentally Unbalanced and Violent: The Hagsploitation Film 
Click here for tickets - Just $5 each!

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?: Horror | 134min


Kris Rose hosts a screening of the mother of all hagsploitation films, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” followed by another great discussion on horror and feminism.

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Sun 7/16, 2:00p: Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma!
Click here for tickets

Stage Play | 180min


Oh, what a beautiful day! The magic and energy of live theatre is coming to cinemas around the globe with the National Theatre’s acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” Starring then newcomer Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables, The Greatest Showman) as Curly, alongside Maureen Lipman, Josefina Gabrielle and Shuler Hensley, this riveting stage production was filmed during its record- breaking 1998 run in London.

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Sun 7/16, 4:00p: Tulsa! Workshop FREE admission


"Oklahoma!" is a classic, but what about a modern take on a musical for Tulsa? A local group of filmmakers and musicians are planning just that with "Tulsa!" See a proof of concept short film, then chat with the creative team on workshopping this catchy earworm of a song into a full-fledged musical.

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Sun 7/16, 4:00p: ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (We Will Speak) Winner of the Circle Cinema Film Festival Best Documentary Feature! Screening includes filmmaker Q&A.
Click here for tickets

Documentary | 98min


With fewer than 1,500 fluent speakers left, a small group of Cherokee activists race to save their language from extinction.

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Sun 7/16, 5:30p: Barroom Heroes Documentary | 70min
Click here for tickets

Premiere screening with remembrance for Daniel Davis Aston who was tragically killed in the Club Q shooting. Daniel was from Broken Arrow and worked at Elote, the restaurant featured in the film. Q&A with Libby Billings (Elote owner), Logan Walcher (director and luchador), Ray Martinez (wrestling booker and luchador), Kellan Parker (luchador), and Pat Foster (luchador) moderated by Tim Landes (Tulsa People).


"Barroom Heroes" documents the journey of an indigenous Chickasaw filmmaker from Oklahoma, Logan Walcher, as he joins the world of pro wrestling and lucha libre over the course of six years. The film takes the viewer inside Elote, a restaurant in Tulsa that hosts some of the most entertaining comedy wrestling in the country within its hilariously small 10-foot ring.

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Sun 7/16, 7:00p: Bug Man Bug Man: Drama | 88min
Click here for tickets

Winner of the Circle Cinema Film Festival Best Narrative Feature, with Clayton Tramel (director) and Alex Sanchez (actor) Q&A moderated by Jimmie Tramel (Tulsa World)


"Bug Man" follows the life of a young man who after his world is turned upside down by a bad breakup along an old Oklahoma highway, ends up moving into a 1968 VW Beetle with 8 foot spider legs.

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