Private Project

Spider Moth Butterfly

In a traveling circus, whose collective dedication has created a snow-globe reality of art above all, an enthusiastic new clown forces a long time acrobat to question their goals, their motivations, and their smiling leader.


  • Alexis Moh
  • Alexis Moh
  • Josué Brocca
  • Alejandra Herrera
    Key Cast
    Asphalt Goddess, Roma, Tiempo de Lluvia
  • G Foley
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Circo Palomilla
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    fantasy, drama, circus
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 13, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Alexis Moh

Alexis Moh is a film-based artist and performer whose work is driven by the instinct to build resistance and resilience against the white supremacist capitalist destruction of life on our current Earth.

Their video installation about the Očeti Sakowin water protector camp (on Standing Rock Sioux territory), Recursion 1 & 2, was presented at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC. Their performances with dancer Eiko Otake have been presented by the Cathedral, Temple University, and American Dance Festival.

Alexis was selected for the 2017-2018 Mortimer-Hays Brandeis Fellowship through which they directed and produced their first narrative feature film, Spider Moth Butterfly, about hierarchy collapse in a fantastical circus.

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Director Statement

This film was inspired by a tiny circus in a Prague basement. Their circus master directed with a forceful enthusiasm that pushed every “imperfection” to only improve the show’s magic. Under his pressure, his troupe's efforts created a verve that technique alone could not summon.
I have long had a special attraction and respect for the circus world and how they particularly prioritize the absurd, the accessible, and the experimental. Their alternative, nomadic lifestyle pivots around complete service to their art, and for some, this path is generational. And as with anything, what happens when one loves something so intensely?

For me, this is a story about being emotionally cornered within important relationships with people who, sometimes to your shock and upset, refuse to really see your side of things. I find these moments usually come from a deep attachment to an identity or ideology that serves a hierarchy in which one doesn't want to fall lower. I hope the film will resonate with anyone who has struggled towards some personal point of excellence, or who has lived under some form of a tyrant, be it a parent, a director, an employer, or a president.