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The 9th Biennial San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival sponsored by Desiree Alliance, ISWFACE, BAYSWAN and SWOP-USA
/SWOP Bay Area
Festival Director: Erica Elena; Producers: Erica Elena, Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot & Laure McElroy; Film Curator: Laure Mc Elroy; Performance Curators: Sangria Red & Mariko Passion
Institute of Sexworkology Faculty: Donia Christine (Dean of Economic Empowerment) and The Incredible Edible Akynos
(Headmistress)

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA SEX WORKERS FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL

Schedule http://www.sexworkerfest.com/swfest2015/calendar2015.html


Event Summary: The San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Film & Arts Festival has provided a forum for sex worker film and video makers since 1999. The Festival has since expanded to become a vibrant venue for performances, workshops, visual arts, political organizing, skills sharing and ever expanding events for sex workers from San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and from around the world. The Sex Worker Festival recognizes and honors prostitutes, dancers, porn performers and other sex workers from diverse communities, who have been dynamic and integral members of arts communities since time immemorial.

Contacts: Producers- Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot, Erica Elena, Laure McElroy; Festival Director: Erica Elena; Film Curator Laure McElroy; Performance Curator 2015: Sangria Red
Telephone: (415) 857-5425
email: sexworkerfest@gmail.com
Dates: May 15-24, 2015
Location: Multiple venues: Omni Commmons, Oakland; Whores Bath at Jack London Square/Oakland; LaPena, Berkeley; Center for Sex & Culture; Roxie Cinema, San Francisco and more.
Website: http://www.sexworkerfest.com
Schedule: http://www.sexworkerfest.com/swfest2015/calendar2015.html
Tickets:loveandcondoms.eventbrite.com/
Media Release and Materials-2015
Logos at http://www.sexworkerfest.com/swfest2015/webpics-logos.htm
Photos, Movie Stills and Illustrations: sexworkerfest.com/swfest2015/allphotos.html

The San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Film & Arts Festival has provided a forum for sex worker film and video makers since 1999. The Festival has since expanded to become a vibrant venue for performances, workshops, visual arts, political organizing, skills sharing and ever expanding events for sex workers from San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and from around the world. The Sex Worker Festival recognizes and honors prostitutes, dancers, porn performers and other sex workers from diverse communities, who have been dynamic and integral members of arts communities since time immemorial.

Festival Founder, Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot says, "Sex workers are privy to parts of life that are usually kept secret. This gives us an excellent vantage point from which to view hypocrisy, from the lawmakers who use our services, then sponsor policies which further criminalize us, to the wanna-be saviors who claim to 'rescue' us but only increase our vulnerability. This whores-eye-view of society is reflected in this body of work by sex workers."

The 2015 Festival features long running events including ‘The Institute of Sexworkology’ (formerly known as Whore College) and ‘The Shannon Williams Whores Bath’ in Oakland, our magical healing spa dedicated to Shannon Williams, one of our leaders who died in January.

Event Highlights

Performing events include local and international artists. This year Gina Gold kicks off the Festival with ‘Sex Worker Diaries,’ at La Pena in Berkeley in conjunction with her ongoing series, TMI Storytelling. The Festival introduces famed Australian ‘Debbys’ (debbydoesntdoitforfree.org) performer, Queenie Bon Bon, in her solo performance, Deeply Leisured.

This year we are happy to offer a Free Solo Performance Workshop series for sex workers by Sangria Red. Sangria Red a performer, writer and teacher, sharing the principles of her own unique form of performance, based on the techniques of musical improvisation. She has been on the faculty of several local colleges and her combination of both theatrical and life experience offers a unique learning opportunity. The workshop culminates in ‘Sex Worker Soliloquies,’ an ensemble work based on solo performances. Ensemble artists include: Mariko Passion, returning to the Festival with classic performance art. The Incredible Edible Akynos is back by popular demand, along with a Festival favorite, storyteller and burlesque and performance artist Cinnamon Maxxine.

Bay Area activist and well-known Oakland producer/musician, Juba Kalamka hosts the $pread Book Launch Superparty with music by Vixen Noir (releasing her new CD, Dangerous). Anthology readers include Scarlot Harlot, Fabulous, and special guest, Professor Mireille Miller-Young, who launches her new book, "A Taste For Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography." Spoken word artists also include Catherine Plato, Tucson's Kym Cutter and Mack Friedman.

Community events include Sex WorkTrafficking, a community discussion and screening at Omni Commons in Oakland about the increasing scapegoating of sex workers, youth, migrants, people of color and other communities under the guise of anti-trafficking. SWAG (Sex Workers Action Group) joins the Festival this year to present 'Human & Here: A Community Event Against Violence' mobilizing resistance and addressing conditions surrounding violence against sex workers and transgender women of color from evictions to profiling to physical attacks and murder and more. ‘The Shannon Williams Whores Bath and Clothing Swap’ in Oakland features healing treatments, a hot tub and workshops for sex workers. Dedicated to Shannon Williams, who shared her services at this event, we remember her generosity, sense of humor in the face of adversity, her smart, dedicated leadership and we miss her so much.

Almost all events from May 15-24 are open to the public! Others, the Solo Performance Workshop, the Institute for SexWorkology and the Whores Bath are for current and former sex workers.


Movie Highlights

The Festival has screened nearly 300 movies since 1999. Movies play throughout the week at various venues including a marathon sex worker screening, day and night at the Roxie Theater on Saturday May 23rd. Through the movies submitted, workshops offered and performance work, Festival organizers observe the changes in sex worker cultures over the decades.

Most striking, 2015 brings a new emphasis of focus to sex workers' families and communities, particularly in work from India with voices of the children of sex workers in ‘We Are Foot Soldiers’ from friends at Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee. 'Born into Porn' from the US features Nina Hartley, and Peru’s ‘I am a Sex Worker’ from the cultural activist group, CiudadaniasX, are also programmed as Part of ‘I Heart A Sex Worker’ sponsored by SWOP Bay Area at the Roxie. Videos from around the world portray fierce sex worker activists as the movement expands in South Africa through the work of SWEAT and Sisonke in ‘Sisonke marches against police brutality.’

SANGRAMS's 'Save Us From Saviours' exemplifies the nuances in the growing understanding of sex worker rights as human rights:
"Sex work and the sex industry are complex. Issues such as family and social-economic background, caste and religious segregations, sexual identities, and marital status all effect the way that it is experienced... For sex workers to access and enjoy their rights, misgivings and certain stereotypes about sex work need to be broken down… While they certainly face discrimination and hardship, people in sex work do not need pity. Rather, they need the rest of society to recognise and fight against its own misconceptions, judgments and unfounded fears.”
–Sangram, Save Us from the Saviours

Remedy is a ground breaking narrative based on the experience of the director, Cheyenne Picardo. A hybrid of creative biography and narrative fiction, Remedy is based on Picardo’s experiences working as a pro-switch. The film explores the good, the bad, the offensive, the cruel, the hysterical, and the plain weird aspects of the commercial BDSM world without passing judgment. “It's good to see a reality based depiction of the journey from dilettante to prodomme because all too often in mainstream media we are presented with the cliche about the sex worker who is produced by traumatic life events, by abuse and desperation, as the one and only norm,” says Festival curator Laure McElroy.

This year the Festival sponsors the 'Filmmakers Forum' an informal screening and discussion where filmmakers and the audience have a chance to examine trends in sex worker cinema. In 2015, the audience can contribute to the development of an important work-in-progress 'The Making of the Marica Powell Story by PJ Starr,' which documents a campaign for justice in the case of the the murder of Marcia Powell at the hands of the Arizona Department of Corrections where Marcia was incarcerated on solicitation charges, then locked in a metal cage in 107 degree heat.

More about the Festival

Intersectional Mission

We are anti race, class, gender, age, ability, size and sexual identity oppression. We strive to increase the involvement of politically underrepresented sex worker communities such as trans folk, workers of color, street-based workers, and workers who transcend the racist, sexist, heterosexist, white-supremacist norms and standards of mainstream beauty.


We push the margins of the movement into the center, working to shift paradigms in joint struggle, we strive to cultivate leadership of sex workers that are marginalized within the sex workers movements. We highlight the artistic endeavors of workers in all aspects of the sex industry because whore culture is real, present and on a corner, in a bar, in a hotel or in a bedroom community near YOU.


The San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival focuses on Bay Area Sex workers and their communities, as well as artists and producers from the Bay Area.

Festival Director and Producers

2015 Festival producers include Erica Elena (Director), Laure McElroy (Curator/Producer) and Carol Leigh (Founder). Event producers include Sangria Red, Kalash Ka, Mariko Passion, SWAG, Donia Christine and The Incredible Edible Akynos.

Fundraising

In order to raise funds, the festival looks toward our own San Francisco Based sex positive crown funding platform, Tilt. Funds from our campaign go to provide stipends for artists, and scholarships for attendees. Visit our campaign at Tilt! For info, locations & more: sexworkerfest@gmail.com (415) 857-5425. Visit our schedule and our website for all the details sexworkerfest.com/swfest2015/calendar2015.html

The Sex Worker Festival is proud to include sponsors: the East Bay Express; the San Francisco Bay Times (www.sfbaytimes.com); the National Queer Arts Festival (www.queerculturalcenter.org), the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival; the Center for Sex & Culture (www.sexandculture.org); Rainbow Grocery Cooperative (rainbow.coop); Media Alliance (www.media-alliance.org); Sex Worker Media Library (www.sexworkermedialibrary.org); International Sex Worker Foundation for Art Culture and Education (www.iswface.org), Sex Worker Outreach Project (swopbay.org); Desiree Alliance (desireealliance.org); the St. James Infirmary (stjamesinfirmary.or); the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc.(http://www.thesisters.org) and more. Community business sponsors including Rentboy (rentboy.com), Slixa (slixa.com), Cuties Tools (cuties-tools.com), Good Vibrations (goodvibes.com), Bondassage (Bondassage.com), Radical Being Bodywork (debmalkin.massagetherapy.com) and many more coming soon!