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Documentary Feature

United States, 2018, 81 min., Color, English
TEXAS PREMIERE- Eric Butler, a Hurricane Katrina survivor and pioneer of the restorative justice movement, relocates and finds work at an Oakland, California, high school enforcing his no-nonsense approach to counseling vulnerable Black and Latino teenagers. Shot over two years, the film follows Butler's impassioned efforts to nurture troubled youth and keep them in school, fighting racial discrimination by replacing snap suspensions and expulsions with gritty, intimate and honest mentoring. But when his own teenage son is arrested and beaten in jail, he begins to question his methods and ability—not just as a teacher, but also as a father. With incredible access, Circles is an inspirational portrait of a father desperate to provide his son with the leadership and compassion he never received from his own.
Screening with: The Beach,
Cassidy Friedman
Eric Butler
Music Composer
William Ryan Fritch

Director Bio
Cassidy Friedman directs and produces character-driven documentaries that call attention to unsung social justice pioneers. His directing debut, CIRCLES, will world premiere at Hot Docs 2018. Cassidy produced VOICES BEYOND THE WALL (2017), with Executive Producer James Franco, an official selection of the Miami International Film Festival, which received a glowing review in The Hollywood Reporter and won several awards, including Best Documentary Feature at the St. Louis International Film Festival. Cassidy directed a score of documentary shorts, including UNSTILL LIFE, an Official Selection of the 2014 Long Island International Film Expo and The SoCal Creative & Innovative Film Festival. He is a Film Independent Fast Track fellow, Film Independent Docs Lab fellow, and Points North fellow. Cassidy is also directing the feature documentary Soledad (in post-production) with producers Van Jones and Glen Zipper. Cassidy wrote for the Times-News and received the Idaho Governor’s Award for Excellence in Journalism, in 2009. Director Statement
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