Tom Garrett ’83 is a producer of feature and documentary films and a founding partner of Circa Films, an international sales and distribution company. He is an expert on the inner workings of Hollywood, the international film market, and the changing dynamics of the film and television industries in the age of streaming. He has decades of experience as an executive producer, director, and screenwriter.
A member of the Producers Network at the Cannes Film Festival, Professor Garrett has screened his films at the Berlin, Toronto, and Florence film festivals and on A&E, USA Network, and TF1 (France). He also is director of special initiatives for the Sarasota Film Festival and a juror for the International Emmy® Awards.
Garrett’s latest project, King of the Underdogs, a feature documentary he co-produced exploring the career of Rocky director John G. Avildsen, opened to much acclaim, winning best documentary awards at the 2017 Beverly Hills Film Festival, the Impact Docs, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, the George Sidney Independent Film Competition, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Based on the book Garrett co-wrote on Avildsen, the documentary features interviews with Sylvester Stallone, Ralph Macchio, and Martin Scorsese.
Professor Garrett has worked as a producer and director for advertising agencies and public relations firms such as Chiat-Day/Mojo, JWT, and BBD&O, with clients including Chanel, Reebok, Tag Heuer, and Calvin Klein. He has also produced music videos for Run-D.M.C. and U2. Prior to coming to the University of New Haven, Garrett was film program coordinator at Sam Houston State University and assistant professor at the University of Tampa.
Each year, Professor Garrett takes students to Cannes where they learn the art of the film deal and get an inside look into the business side of the industry. As a University of New Haven undergraduate, he attended the Cannes Festival with professor and mentor Jean Bodon, calling it a life-changing experience.
Professor Garrett was also instrumental in creating a partnership with FOX61 that resulted in the station establishing its New Haven bureau on campus and creating internship and other hands-on opportunities for students.