What a weekend - thank you Tulsa for making 2023 our most successful Circle Cinema Film Festival yet! We estimate more than 2500 people attended over the four days, and we couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate our 95th birthday. Keep reading for pictures and quotes from the weekend, and we'll be adding even more in the coming days.
Thank you to our presenting sponsor The Mayo Hotel, and thank you to our sponsors Black Optical, WeStreet Credit Union, Cherokee Nation Film Office, Aberson's, Oklahoma Film + Music Office, McNellie's Group, Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts, and Culture, Spexton Fine Jewelry, O'Fallon Properties, Nevaqaya Fine Arts, Tulsa Remote, and Bob Hurley RV.
Tremendous thank you to our staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly all weekend. Kerry, the volunteer Festival Coordinator, and Circle Deputy Director/Programmer Chuck put together an amazing lineup of films and special guests. Greg ensured all the films played properly, and had everything looking and sounding amazing on the big screen. Our front of house team led by Starr - Sean, Liam, Sarah, Craig, and Brenda - kept crowds moving smoothly and were crucial in all the programs starting on schedule while still providing the quality Circle customer service experience. And the rest of our leadership team - Brent, Jody, David, Ryan, and Michelle - all the hours behind-the-scenes made it happen.
To our volunteers than generously donated their time and talents - Debbie, Mac, Zoe, Ellen, Stacey, Anabella, Martha, Drew, Susan, Suzanne, Jessica, Abigail, Kelsey, Jennifer, Michael, Christina, and Tom - thank you!
Thank you to our Festival judges, we had more submissions than ever in 2023 and your work helped us put together an impressive slate of films. And to all the directors, actors, producers, writers, special guests, and program moderators, the insight you provided into each movie really made the Festival experience. It's clear so much passion went into every project, and we're proud to provide a venue to share these films with audiences. But don't just take it from us, the filmmakers had an amazing time too! We'll be adding more quotes in the coming days as well.
"It goes without saying we had a fantastic time experiencing your city and festival. really one of the best festival trips we've done on our road trip with [the film]. While you are a small festival you really take care of the filmmaker experience. We have not had as strong a Q&A lead as we did with Jeff Martin and Jeff Huston." Andy Streitfeld, Executive Producer of "Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection"
"I just wanted to say thank you so much for hosting the premiere of our film. You made it such a special day for everyone involved and we are all still reeling from the entire event! Everyone running the festival was professional, accommodating and made the whole experience smooth and easy going for us. Thank you for believing in our film, supporting local artists and being a vital part of the Oklahoma film scene. Have a great week and congratulations on the successful festival!" Logan Walcher, Director of "Barroom Heroes"
"Thanks so much for putting together a great Festival this year! And thanks again for the idea about a workshop for the "Tulsa!" musical. I think it really led to some great ideas and feedback, and I'm really excited to continue working through some of these story ideas that we got from the discussion." Eric Michelson, "Tulsa!" musical project director
Here's some of the highlights from each day - and we'll be adding more each day as we get them processed! Many of the pics were taken by our CCFF photographer and social media assistant Beth Turner of Storyteller Productions - follow her on Instagram @TulsaStoryteller for more.
Thursday July 13 - click the pics to expand
CCFF started with an exclusive VIP kickoff for our All-Access pass holders, sponsors, and special guests. The evening featured a screening of "Enlighten" by Keith "Sneak" Daniels with a Q&A followed by a fun afterparty with music by DJ Tina X.
Friday July 14 - click the pics to expand
Despite the storm on Friday night, we still had a sell-out crowd for "Oklahoma Breakdown" with musician Mike Hosty and director Christopher Fitzpatrick and more great films to start the first day of feature screenings.
Saturday July 15 photos - click the pics to expand
The busiest day of the Festival showcased everything we love to program for Tulsa. From free kids films, acclaimed projects made locally with Indigenous cast and crew, documentaries and discussions, student projects, and capped off with a neon-lit lobby party. Oh, and it was also our 95th birthday featuring Walk of Fame inductions!
Sunday July 16 photos - click the pics to expand
The Festival wrapped with a on a high note, as Sunday included even more student and professional short films, sold-out shows, a high-energy premiere for "Barroom Heroes," and the winners of the Best Doc and Best Narrative CCFF awards "ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (We Will Speak)" and "Bug Man."