Why we’re not taking the new porn laws lying down
Who cares about a bunch of queers flogging each other when there’s a migrant crisis and article 50 has been triggered? We do.
We want to be able to see, share and show more sex positive films within our Queer Community!
So, inspired by Berlin Porn Film Festival, some of us involved in Wotever World got together and created London Porn Film Festival. Over the years we always sold out the porn screenings at Wotever DIY Film Festival, and we did about Five very successful Queer Experiments with Queer Porno as a theme, and the latest one was held at Horse Hospital, and they wanted to do more like it as did we, So, time is right, Let’s do this!
The London Porn Film Festival is a new space for people who want to celebrate their sexuality on screen. We welcome filmmakers of every kind, who are exploring sex in all its incarnations. As queer organisers actively challenging narrow definitions of porn, we take our inspiration from the Berlin Porn Film Festival, which has fostered a dynamic space for sex workers, porn performers, porn producers and other creatives to challenge and explore our understanding and enjoyment of sex. And, after several years of sell-out porn screenings at the Wotever DIY Film Festival, the time is right for London to have its own festival and to maintain a strong resistance against the insidious conservative agenda that polices some bodies (and not others) and enforces a sterile, unreflective and often misogynistic notion of what constitutes healthy relationships, love and fucking.
We value porn as an art form that is able to question and challenge the power structures that limit our sexual expression. Radical queer porn has not settled as an art form – it straddles the borders of visual art, performance art, erotica, political activism and many other genres – making it a unique vehicle for presenting new and radical ideas of sexuality. Beyond that, it can influence and re-shape our notions of politics and society. London Porn Film Festival exists as a place to re-learn our notion of porn; to explore, re-imagine, embrace and re-consider the boundaries of filmmaking itself – where sex and filmmaking meet without borders.
We endorse a festival that is wilder, bigger, better (wetter!) and more creative. The time is right – let’s do this!
A NOTE ON ACCESS
Making films accessible to everyone, no matter their status in terms of disability, is not rocket science. Excellent guidelines exist for how to provide physical access, subtitles or closed captions for deaf or hard of hearing people, and audio description for visually impaired people. Despite this, many of our absolutely largest film festivals with multi-million-pound budgets (that shall remain nameless) refuse to provide this complete package to more than a handful of their films. That’s simply not good enough.
We decided, early on in the process of creating LPFF, that we were going to try to do something different. We knew we wouldn’t have the budget as a small DIY queer film festival to contract out subtitling or audio description, so instead we set out the requirement that all films submitted should have both subtitles and an audio description provided.
This, it quickly became apparent, was not a common request. The majority of the filmmakers we talked to had never done an audio description before, and many had also never done subtitles. And the results are predictably mixed. Many filmmakers – themselves small DIY queer outfits, often run by one person – simply didn’t have the time it takes to make a good audio description. Others, often equally small-scale, really outdid themselves, making audio descriptions especially for us that took both effort and in some cases significant expense.
So what does that mean for the festival? We’ve managed to get together subtitles for all films that contain conversations, and several sound-effect-only ones. We’ve also managed to get audio description for around half of our films, and two or more films in each of our programmes will be available audio described. It’s not a perfect situation, and we’d have loved to have everything fully audio described, but it’s something that we can work from and be even stricter in our requirements next year.
If you have any questions about any aspect of access or want to raise any concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Logo illustration: Uve Rivera. Web- and Graphic Design & Page Illustrations: Linnea Frank.
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