What happens when sex workers seize the day by running for political office and storm the halls of government? Not only do we demand rights for our communities, we defend the rights of all to love each other safely through access to condoms, relevant reproductive rights and radical, queer justice. This evening of exciting films will leave the audience with the knowledge that supporting sex worker rights is pleasurable, fundamental and as simple as blowing a kiss.
Join the Sex Workers Outreach Project-NYC (SWOP-NYC) and Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK) as we celebrate the New York City premiere of A KISS FOR GABRIELA (a film documenting a sex worker’s run for federal office in Brazil) and highlight recent advances in the fight for rights in NY and around the globe.
We will begin our night together with a selection of the latest in short films including amongst others, the NYC premiere of WHORE LOGIC featuring the Incredible, Edible, Akynos and A KISS FOR GABRIELA, an intimate portrait–with a pumping soundtrack–of the remarkable Gabriela Leite who was the first prostitute to run for Brazilian Congress. Eyes will then be closeded via the feature film SCARLET ROAD which reveals “what goes on behind closed doors” with Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton who is highly specialized in working with clients with disability. In addition to film showings, a panel discussion including filmmaker Laura Murray and Flavio Lenz, co-founder of Brazilian prostitutes’ rights organization Davida and one of the stars of A KISS FOR GABRIELA, is part of our action-packed event. We anticipate a visitation by the Incredible, Edible, Akynos and the presence of a member of the RedUp team to share about 2013 actions to pressure Albany for the rights of sex workers.
SWOP-NYC and SWANK proudly acknowledge the Sex Worker Film and Art Festival and Women Make Movies for sponsorship and in curation. Film night program developed by PJ Starr and Heidi Hoefinger, with the assistance of Laura Murray, The Incredible, Edible, Akynos, Audacia Ray and Kate D’Adamo.
We will present the following films:
Session 1: 7:00 PM
Film program runtime 55 minutes, followed by panel discussion of 40 minutes.
Come behind the scenes as The Incredible, Edible, Akynos develops and premieres a new burlesque show in NYC that plays with audience (mis)understandings of what it takes to be a whore. This experimental documentary melds elements of burlesque, an uncensored spoken-word performance about a sexualized childhood and astounding archival footage of a car crash caused by public indecency to explore if lady who shows/sells her goods can be a brainiac.
The Red Umbrella Project | USA | 2013 | 5 minutes
Empire State Plaza in Albany is set abuzz when sex workers and their allies visit more than 40 legislators in April 2012 to bring attention to the impact of the use of condoms as evidence by police and the courts, and to advocate for a law to end this practice. This short-short reveals what happens in NYC at the epicenter of the implementation of this policy, and how it is connected to “stop and frisk” and other forms of discrimination towards communities affected by anti-prostitution policies.
Laura Murray | Brazil | 2013 | 30 minutes
In 2010 Gabriela Leite, a prostitute and activist for sex workers’ rights for over 30 years, campaigned for election to the Brazilian Congress, facing 822 opponents and a male dominated political system. Combining an observational style with unrestricted access, this documentary explores what it means to be a prostitute, what it means to be a wife, and most importantly, what it means for a woman representing one of the most stigmatized populations in the world to run for office. Is she victorious in her bid for election? For women like Gabriela who make history with their campaigns, it is not whether they win or lose, or even how they play. It’s that they’re in the game at all.
Session 2: 9:00 PM
Runtime 70 minutes
Catherine Scott | Australia | 2012 | 70 minutes
This documentary focuses on the extraordinary work of Australian sex worker, Rachel Wotton. Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression and the rights of sex workers, she specializes in a clientele not often acknowledged by policy makers – people with disabilities. Take a walk under Rachel’s red umbrella as she spends time with her clients, her family and travels the world to demand her rights.
Laura Murray, a friend and colleague of Gabriela Leite since 2004, has worked with sex worker rights groups internationally as a researcher, activist, and filmmaker since 2000. A Kiss for Gabriela is her directorial debut and her third documentary film about sexuality in Brazil. Laura has a Masters in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is currently a PhD Candidate in Medical Anthropology at Columbia University. She is writing her dissertation about the politics of HIV/AIDS and sex worker activism in Brazil. Flavio Lenz is a writer and journalist from Rio de Janeiro. He is the Co-Founder of the Brazilian sex worker rights’ organization, Davida and the organization’s clothing line, Daspu (Of the whores). Flavio is the Press Officer for the Brazilian Prostitutes Network and has been the Editor of Davida’s newspaper, Beijo da Rua (A Kiss from the Street) since 1988. In 2008, he published, “Daspu: A Moda Sem Vergonha” (Daspu: Fashion without Shame”), a book that tells the history of Daspu and its huge impact on Davida, sex workers, the media and pop culture in Brazil.