Invisible Circus is the story of a community of artists and anarchists with a kaleidoscope of talents and a novel approach to Bristol’s glut of derelict buildings.
From squatting a four-storey garage and turning it into an open arts centre for four months, they earn the support of the council and end up negotiating with developers for temporary use of their buildings. The community first renovate a gorgeous cathedral and stage two months of stunning performance and art events.
When they move out so the owners can turn it into flats, leader Doug negotiates the keys to Bristol’s old Police HQ for two years, hoping they can create a European-style centre for art and ideas in the middle of the commercial district. But in the wave of development sweeping Bristol clubs, pubs, theatres, galleries and community spaces are under threat from lucrative apartment and office blocks. Is the trade-off worth it, or are the team being used as a PR tool while the creative heartbeat of Bristol is stilled by corporate development?
This documentary is entirely self-funded and mostly shot by me, with considerable help from my partner Sam and the occasional extra shooter. I’m also doing all the editing, finishing this year and seeking funding and distribution.