A jury featuring Frank Lebon and Lawrence Lek have picked the filmmaking Class of 2021

Circa and Dazed have partnered up to find 30 emerging talents in moving image art, screening their work on the world’s biggest screens and awarding one with £30,000.

18 August 2021


Public art platform Circa and publisher Dazed have announced the 30 winners of its Class of 2021 competition to find exciting emerging filmmakers. Chosen by a star-studded jury including Cauleen Smith, Frank Lebon, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Holly Blakey, Ib Kamara, Lawrence Lek and Yinka Ilori, the selected artists will have their films screened on giant billboards in London, Tokyo and Seoul. At a time when public art spaces are diminishing and investment in arts education is being cut, the initiative aims to “empower youth through creativity and platform new voices and points of view from local communities on a global level”.

One of the 30 filmmakers will also be handpicked by Marina Abramović to win a cash prize of £30,000, as part of the #CircaEconomy programme, which recirculates profits from print sales back into the creative industry. It has previously sold affordable prints by the likes of Patti Smith, Ai Weiwei and David Hockney to raise money to commission new public art, aiming to “nurture more diverse cultural industries and support emerging creative potential”. The #CircaEconomy winner will be announced during Frieze London in October.

The winners are: Alfie White, Athena Vlachos, Bart Seng Wen Long, Ben Cullen Williams, Brin Schoellkopf, Carla Fernández, Christina Anagnostou, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Diane Cescutti, Edd Carr, Ewelina Węgiel, Flavian Berar, Gabriel Massan, Heliena Hagos, Hoa Dung Clerget, Hogan Schia, Joseph Wilson, Josh Spindler, Ksenia Ili, Lucy Loader, Michael and Chiyan Ho, Miles Greenberg, Mojmir Bures, Nicolás Barrera Martínez, Ning Zhou, Rhea Storr, Seulgi Lee Kang, Susu Laroche, Wes Viz and Zongbo Jiang. 


Copyright © Joseph Wilson, 2021

The artists responded to a call-out for a film around the theme Communion. Their work will join Circa’s public art programme screened daily at 20:21 local time on London's Piccadilly Lights, Seoul’s Coex K-Pop Square and at Tokyo's Yunika Vision, and shown on Circa and Dazed’s websites. Each artist has also been gifted annual access to the Dazed Space, a multimedia studio at 180 The Strand in London.

Circa was launched in October 2021 by Josef O’Connor, aiming to bring boundary-pushing filmic arts into the mainstream public space via a programme screened on the giant billboards in Piccadilly Circus. Its inaugural artist was Ai Weiwei, followed by Cauleen Smith and Eddie Peake, who created new work for the platform, to be shown when the adverts pause for two minutes a day. It has since worked with Anne Imhof, Patti Smith, Tony Cokes, Emma Talbot, Vivienne Westwood, James Barnor, and David Hockney.


Copyright © Athena Vlachos, 2021


Copyright © Bart Seng Wen Long, 2021


Copyright © Christina Anagnostou, 2021


Copyright © Zongbo Jiang, 2021

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Copyright © Michael and Chiyan Ho, 2021

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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