arvan's picture

Publicly funded, feminist porn!

Documentary filmmaker Mia Engberg has made a feminist porn film, titled Dirty Diaries: Twelve Shorts of Feminist Porn.  All of the filmmakers are either female or identify as female (one of the filmmakers was born male).  Each film was shot on a mobile phone.  The project received 350,000 kronor in production support from the Swedish Film Institute

The collection of independent stories coalesce around a central manifesto:

arvan's picture

Filmmaker seeks single / lesbian mothers of color for interview

    PLEASE POST ON YOUR BLOGS, SITES, LISTS etc. Help us reach the folks we need.

    Many of you have already heard about our film, Baby Makes me. For you, this is an update. But for the folks who have not heard Tiona and I are making a documentary together.

    For years, I have wanted to become a mother. But the timing has never been quite right. Either my partners weren’t ready, or I was scared, or I couldn’t find a donor or something. There was always something. By the time I rolled into 35, I was tired of being afraid, tired of waiting for the right woman with whom it would be the right time, tired of watching every Christmas roll over another Birthday, tired of watching my peers get knocked up and months later appear with the most amazing little bundle of potential—I was tired of waiting and ready to make the leap, and I was ready to make it alone.

    I began the research with great heart—only to discover that there were little no resources for women who either wanted to, or had to embark on the journey of motherhood in the solo. There were one or two essays and a few books on artificial insemination, and some were even directed at lesbians—but most, if not all assumed that the mother would be operating from inside of a partnership, be that partnership heterosexual or homosexual.

arvan's picture

Film project about Bangladesh transgender life seeks funding

EVERGREEN: A film and project by Aude Leroux-Lévesque and Sébastien Rist.


Evergreen is a documentary film about love and loss. Set in the crowded back alleys of Dhaka, Bangladesh, the film follows Salma and her friends as they enter the mysterious and secretive world of trans-sexuality.  Salma left her village as a boy; she enters the effervescent city life as a 12-year-old girl in search of identity, love and above all, a sense of acceptance. Emotionally torn between her past and present life, Salma is faced with challenging experiences that will force her as well as the audience, to question any preconceived notions of gender, sexuality, family and love. Storyline and title are subjects to change.

arvan's picture

Film review: Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography (2003), Bill and Desiree: Love is Timeless (2008)


Recently, I attended a double-feature at The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum as part of the Sex+++ Documentary Film Series.  This presentation's guest moderator was Serpent Libertine.  She is a sex-worker and member of SWOP-Chicago.  Assisting as always, was Lisa Junkin, Education Coordinator for the Hull House Museum itself.

Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography, directed by Becky Goldberg, profiles several women who are committed to making and supporting pornography, while maintaining their feminist values — as they take on the entire industry, fight sexism, and challenge stereotypes.

Interviewing several women involved in the production, direction, performance and distribution of adult films, many good points were brought up to consider.

arvan's picture

Ma Vie En Rose

"Ma Vie en Rose" ("My Life In Pink") is the story of Ludovic, a little girl born in a little boy's body. For this child, nothing is more natural than to change gender. A hopeful and sensitive child, who truly believes that a miracle is going to happen.  Confident of becoming a girl with no doubts and in love with Jerome, a school mate, and son of the father's colleague.

Initially a source of amusement, an outrage begins in their suburb when the two children are discovered pretending to get married. The family begins to realize with horror that this desire to be a girl isn't just a little boy's fantasy. They try to make him change his mind, to no avail. The situation turns into a real-life drama of intense reactions from neighbors, friends, and teachers, resulting in a profoundly optimistic ending.

"Ma Vie en Rose" is the first feature from Belgian director Alain Berliner.

(h/t to Rory)

arvan's picture

Film review: “On The Downlow” (2007)

Last week, I attended the latest screening in the Sex+++ Documentary Film Series.  These films are showing at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum each month on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday.  This week's guest moderator was Lisa Junkin, Education Coordinator for the Hull House Museum itself.

The film, "On The Downlow" was directed by Abigail Child and focused on the lives of several black, bisexual men living in Cleveland, OH.  Each man kept his gay sex a secret from some of the people in their lives.  It was interesting to see who each man would choose to hide it from and what his reasons were for doing so.

One man discussed life 'on the streets' as being too tough on gays for him to come out.  He spoke of the need to keep it strictly secret.  That changed though, when he spoke of his time in prison.  He spoke about his male lovers from prison and their relationships in open and glowing terms.  He kept love letters and photographs of his prison lovers, whom also kept their male sex partners a secret from spouses and girlfriends on the outside.

Two men chose to 'out' their bisexuality to women they had been dating, while the documentary crew was filming them.  This seemed a bit too 'Jerry Springer' for my tastes, but it also did show some every day realities of how people navigate these relationships.

arvan's picture

Upcoming film shatters gender roles, makes men irrelevant

The Baby Forumla, a new film from Canada explores the concept of reproduction between two women using only their DNA.  The science is not that far off, really (via stemcells). 

I have not seen the film, but the premise already has me committed to viewing it.  There is a nice commentary on the premise, science and ethics of the film however, by Sheryl Ubelacker at the Globe and Mail

arvan's picture

Friday Films: Lady Friends, Stonewall Rock & Eugenics in America

Sarah Haskins starts us off today with her latest installment of Target Women, entitled "Lady Friends"

Next, The Stonewall Riots are explained a la School House Rock by Varla herself. Written by Jeffery Roberson, with Michael Schiralli and Seth Rudetsky.

Next and not at all funny, is Liam Dunaway's War on the Weak, a documentary about Eugenics in America.

Be well and be good to each other.

Clarisse Thorn's picture

"Happy Endings?" Asian massage parlor documentary :: Friday, June 12, 7PM :: Benefit screening for Sex Workers Outreach Project


an intriguing exploration of the Asian massage parlor industry in Providence, RI


"HAPPY ENDINGS?" documentary and discussion

in support of SWOP-Chicago

presented by Clarisse Thorn

and hosted by the Leather Archives & Museum


Friday, June 12, 7PM

Leather Archives & Museum

6418 N. Greenview

Chicago, IL 60626

(773) 761-9200

$5-10 suggested donation to SWOP-Chicago

Rhode Island: the only state where prostitution is decriminalized. It had been over 25 years since five prostitutes sued the state of Rhode Island for selective prosecution and prostitution laws were removed from the books when documentarians Tara Hurley and Nick Marcoux turned their cameras on the underbelly of "The Renaissance City".

Watch the drama unfold in Asian massage parlors across Providence as Mayor David Ciccilline pushes to close the prostitution "loophole". Follow Heather, a Korean immigrant, over two years as she manages the massage parlor. Learn about the women who work in the spas. Hear from the police who arrest them. Watch the fight for and against the legislation. The film includes subtitled interviews with Korean women who work in the spas, clients who frequent the spas, police, politicians from 1980 and today, local news footage, local radio call-in shows, and "voiced" reviews from internet escort review boards. Read more, watch the trailer, and see clips from the film at the "Happy Endings?" official website.

Just recently -- May 2009 -- prostitution is in the process of being criminalized again in Rhode Island. Come out, watch the documentary, and talk about it afterwards. What do you think about sex work? Is the change in Rhode Island law fair or unfair? Delicious snacks will be served, and discussion will follow!

This is a benefit for the Sex Workers Outreach Project, and we're requesting a $5-10 donation from attendees.


To learn more about the Chicago chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project, visit their website!

Thanks to our host the Leather Archives and Museum: preserving the history of alternative sexuality!

Screening facilitated by Clarisse Thorn, sex-positive activist and curator of the Sex+++ Film Series.


Official Website


Friday, June 12, 7PM

6418 N. Greenview

$5-10 suggested donation


Clarisse Thorn's picture

Sex-positive documentary report #6: “Bi The Way”

In a minute I’ll review the sixth film at my sex-positive documentary film series, but first I have to say … man, the screening was unexpectedly stressful! For the first time, we simply didn’t have enough space for everyone. In a way I’m thrilled, of course, but I’m also feeling a bit overwhelmed. Previously we have simply been encouraging people to RSVP by phone (312.413.5353) in order to save a seat, but it looks like now RSVPing is effectively a requirement. If you want to attend, you probably want to RSVP by phone … or show up early and hope that someone who RSVPed flakes out! I’ve been encouraging people to RSVP in the last few invitational emails and on Facebook; since last Tuesday I’ve also emphasized the RSVP information in every other Internet venue I have control over.

It’s been suggested multiple times that we switch to a bigger screening venue. This is, however, more complicated than it sounds. One reason for that is that we have very little money for Sex+++. It’s a largely grassroots effort that’s being supported by a few awesome co-sponsors; you can help if you know any potential sex-positive co-sponsors — talk to them and tell them to talk to me!

Another issue is that we want to make sure the event is centrally located within Chicago. This is important because that way it’s maximally accessible to everyone — but it’s especially important because we’ve already printed up the next batch of posters for Sex+++, and they all say it’s at the Hull-House Museum. So, ideally, any new venue would be close enough to Hull-House that people could still make it to the film if they went to the wrong place. You might be able to help us find space if you know of any large, free (or at least cheap), centrally located Chicago movie venues and can convince them to talk to me.


Yeah! Sex+++! Last week’s documentary was “Bi The Way” — all about bisexuality!

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