Friday, January 30, 2015

Call for Movie Submissions - Sex Workers Festival

Call for Movie Submissions-Festival dates May 16-23, 2015. First submission deadline is March 1, 2015

The San Francisco Sex Workers Film and Arts Festival-- Biennial, since 1999




The San Francisco Sex Workers Festival was established in 1999 to provide a forum for the accomplishments of sex worker film and video makers and to screen works about sex workers and the sex industries from around the world. The Sex Worker Festival provides an opportunity to recognize and honor prostitutes, dancers, porn performers and other sex workers, who have historically been a dynamic part of arts communities.

To date, the Sex Worker Festivals have screened nearly three hundred works and generated much interest in the media. In addition, the Festival presents performances and events. Performances include spoken word marathons, bus and bicycle tours highlighting San Francisco history, theatrical productions and cabarets featuring Bay Area performers. In 2005 Whore College was launched in conjunction with the Sex Worker Festival among other workshop formats including the Institute of 

Sex Workology in 2013. Films and videos for the Festival focus on sex workers' rights; organizing efforts and working conditions for strippers; global sex work and sex work as a labor issue on the international agenda; sex workers as artists; queer sex workers; anti-racism anti-oppression in sex worker communities, sex work and gender identities; sex education, sex art, porn and erotica; portraits of strippers, prostitutes, doms, madams... We encourage diverse participation and diverse perspectives.

Guidelines-
Qualifying Entries:

Films and videos must be:
1) directed or produced by someone who has worked in the sex industries or
2) about any aspect of sex work. 

Please note: We are interested in art, experimental work, music videos, narratives, documentaries and all works that challenge conventional stereotypes and stigma regarding prostitution and other forms of sex work. 

Upon filmmakers consent, all such works will be included in our location-based library of films about sex work, available for researchers and activists. If your work does not fit into these categories, please don't submit it.
 
Entry forms are available online at our website. A separate application must accompany each work. 

Deadline:
The deadline for the 2015 Festival is March 1, 2015, however later entries will be considered- see rate schedule below. (Please email us and let us know you sent it, or send us a link to the online video.) The festival will take place May 16-23 , 2015. The festival also sponsors ongoing screenings at festivals around the world and we accept work on an ongoing basis. Call 415-751-1659.

Entry Fees:
A separate entry fee and application form is needed for each work. The entry fees are:
Regular Deadline $10.00 for the first film or video, and $5.00 for each additional film or video.

Late Deadline (after March 1st) $15.00 for the first film or video, and $10.00 for each additional film or video. 
Checks or money orders should be in U.S. funds. Entry fees will be waived based on financial need upon request. Fees are waived for makers in developing countries with no access to Sterling or US dollar currencies. 
Formats:

Screening: DVD, Quicktime files (high quality h.264), Film-16 or 35mm (by special arrangement only)

Preview: Preferred: DVD and web links for viewing online.

Language:

Foreign language film and video should be made available with the original language soundtrack and English subtitles, however we will consider works in that have not been subtitled.

Judging:
Entries will be reviewed by a panel of sex worker film/video makers.

Mailing Information:Include address label on both tape and container. All submissions must be shipped prepaid and packed in proper containers to arrive at the Sex Worker Fest offices no later than 2 weeks before the festival or other screening dates (to be announced). DO NOT send films for preview. Do not send submissions in fiber-filled envelopes, as the dust damages equipment.

If a FILM is invited to participate, the film must be shipped prepaid, insured and packed in proper containers. The San Francisco Sex Worker Festival will be responsible for return shipping charges for 16 and 35mm films. 
The Sex Worker Fest will not pay for international shipping for domestic films (USA). The Sex Worker Fest does not assume any liability for damage to prints due to improper containers or otherwise. 16 mm and 35 mm films (only) in our possession will be insured against damage or loss while participating in the festival. 

Upon acceptance, film cassettes and videos sent from outside the United States must be accompanied by a commercial invoice or b&w, value of shipment and sender's name and address. Cassettes should be marked: 'For Festival Screening Only.' 

Publicity Materials:

Materials (photos, pict files, etc.) of films and videos selected for screening become the property of the Sex Worker Fest and can be used to promote The Sex Worker Fest and the programs of The Sex Worker Fest in all mediums including film, television, radio and the internet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Industry Survey Results and The Future of NakedTruth.ca

Dear friends and colleagues,

A sincere thank you to all of you who responded to The Naked Truth Sex Industry Survey. The results were incredibly interesting and have given me a whole new vision for the future of NakedTruth.ca.

My daughter helped by placing the "Frozen" sticker. ;)
Here are some of the results:

  • 76 people answered the survey
  • 48% of them are activists
  • 44% of them are currently working as sex industry workers
  • 31% were formerly sex industry workers
  • 31% consider themselves allies

Some respondents also identified as researchers, clients, business owners, community support workers, co-workers (like DJ's and drivers), two social workers, a journalist, and one decrim-supporting anti-trafficking activist.

What is the Biggest Problem You Face?


When asked what their biggest challenge is, I found that respondents' comments fit into six categories. I will summarize the results from each category in the order they were most touched on by survey participants.

  1. Stigma
  2. Bad Laws
  3. Health and Safety
  4. SWERFs and Moral Crusaders
  5. Exiting
  6. Funding / Financial

Stigma


“Stigma. If I am assaulted I cannot call the police. If I am raped it's my own fault for "making poor choices". If I am a mother my parenting skills are automatically suspect. Am I sure I'm not on drugs? If I am abused by my partner, well, he can hardly be blamed considering... Et cetera.”

From rights as a renter to being accepted in society and among friends, sex industry workers and clients highlighted many forms of stigma as being problematic. Here are some of the challenges identified by participants:

  • How to advocate without being outed.
  • Difficulty dating.
  • Whore stigma.
  • Employment discrimination.
  • Deciding whether to disclose job to others.
  • Stereotypes.
  • Media misrepresentation.
  • Lies and fabrications about the industry, created to prohibit sex work.
  • Hypocrites.
  • Ignorance of the industry.
  • Devaluation of our skills.
  • Not being recognized as an expert.
  • Cyber bullying.
  • Fear of family finding out.
  • Living a double life.
  • Job not being viewed as legitimate.

Bad Laws


“I can't work at home because my roommates are terrified of getting arrested. It's hard to find a good, safe out-call location (BDSM, medically equipped), so I'm going broke. My clients being criminals/the laws around my job are my biggest problem.”

A huge issue for sex workers in our criminalized climate is fear of being arrested. Many sex workers listed “cops,” “screening for cops,” “discretion on the internet,” “police abuse,” and reluctance to report cyber bullies or other crimes.

The criminalization of clients was emphasized; as well as fear for safety due to having to hide their profession and work underground. One activist also mentioned a fear of being targeted and set-up due to being an out-spoken activist, although I wasn't sure whether the fear was that police would do the setting up, or an aggressive prohibitionist.

Health & Safety


“Fear for myself and the many other sex workers who call and write with their concerns about the 'Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons' Act, and the harms it will do to my colleagues. Some sex workers have been crying when they call. Everyone is terrified.”

Health and safety is on everyone's mind, especially with the uncertainty that has come with the new laws. Criminalization is the most obvious and spoken about obstacle to health and safety.

Other challenges mentioned in relation to health and safety:

  • Inadequate facilities
  • Hygiene and health of client
  • Labour rights
  • Ability to self-organize

SWERFs (Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminists) and Moral Crusaders


“Misleading and completely made up stats about the sex industry; bad laws & policies that lead to police abuse; stigma & ignorance; powerful jerks who profit from the misleading info about those engaged in the sex trades who want to shut me up.”

It goes without saying that SWERFs and Moral Crusaders, who have campaigned together to prohibit sex work all over the world, create many challenges for our industry. Not least of which is funding, but that is a category in itself.

Sex workers expressed frustration with these groups “framing our issues” and getting paid (through their jobs, misleading fundraising campaigns, discriminatory granting guidelines, etc) to target the sex industry.

Some call bottom feeders like these “poverty pimps.” I can't say I blame them. Two poverty pimps in particular were mentioned among the comments: Joy Smith and Megan Murphy (the latter of which is not a very good writer - I feel the need to point that out).

Exiting


“When I was working as a stripper, inadequate facilities such as change rooms and lack of cleanliness, coupled with unfairly high fees for free labour expected from the club (esp. in Ottawa). Now, I face the problem of negotiating how I want to disclose or not disclose my experiences in the sex industry in various contexts, as an academic.”

It is the nature of the business to enter and exit – for some of us, it is a way of life to go in and out of the industry. Pregnancy is often a reason, at least in my case. I was in and out of stripping for over 13 years and still continued to do private shows for one of my most trusted customers.

Going to school, getting burnt out; whatever the reason, there comes a time when we leave the industry.

Sex industry workers identified gaps in resumes, adjusting to a new lifestyle and culture, and whether to disclose past sex industry work to new partners and others, as challenges to exiting.

Funding


“The problem is Steve Harper and his crew of hypocrites.”

Although it was the least talked about challenge, it was mentioned by several respondents. Funding is an issue. Whether it's negotiating upsells with clients or applying for grants to foundations, sex workers and activists are running into money problems.

One problem is that we're competing for funds with SWERFs and moral crusaders. Much of the funding available is targeted towards prohibitionist projects. Fortunately, sex worker activists are creative at finding ways to apply for and get funds with pro-abolition strings attached.

Many of us like our activism to be our jobs. You find us in outreach organizations and attending community meetings; founding non-profit organizations and creating jobs for other sex industry workers. The entrepreneurial spirit that drew us to sex industry work also drives our activism.

The Future of NakedTruth.ca


This "topics that interest you" part of the survey was the most exciting part of all for me, because it allowed me to think creatively about a re-launch of NakedTruth.ca. What kind of platform will TNT become?

Survey respondents identified five main areas of interest, which the new NakedTruth.ca will focus on.

All of these areas will be geared to address the issues identified above; namely stigma, bad laws, health and safety, prohibitionists, exiting, and funding.

The five most chosen areas of interest among survey respondents are:

  1. Laws and how they impact communities. (93%)
  2. Research studies, films, and other resources created by and with sex industry workers. (82%)
  3. Sex Industry News. (75%) Events, rallies, and other ways to connect with others in the sex industry (63%) were also important to respondents. I have put them together with the news category for efficiency purposes.
  4. Education and training to support health and safety of sex workers. (63%) Health and safety tips for sex industry workers was also popular (52%), so I have combined it with this category.
  5. Opportunities to earn money (45%)

Metamorphosis


The Naked Truth has always been about health and safety; challenging stereotypes, educating square folks, and connecting people in the industry. Taking all this into consideration and analyzing the results of the survey, I've got a new dream for TNT.

I intend to re-launch NakedTruth.ca in June 2015; implementing the following new services and resources:

  • An invitation to Guest Bloggers to cover the main topics listed above. (You are welcome to link back to your own website and you keep all rights to your articles; you are encouraged to promote your organization and campaigns too!) I will continue to add events and rallies as I am notified, as well.

  • A comprehensive resource list of studies, films, downloadable training guides, and more. Please contribute to our wiki to help us build this list. NakedTruth.ca will organize the list by topic on the new website, adding new resources as we become aware of them.

  • A speaker's list. We will compile a speaker's list and connect interested organizations with sex work experts. (We've been doing this informally for year anyway.) For our speakers, we will include a biography and photo to help promote them. NakedTruth.ca gets a lot of traffic and rates high in search engines. We ca help organizations find you and hire you. We will also continue to post sex industry and square work opportunities for all members. (Please send them to me with application deadlines.)

  • An FAQ created and collaborated upon through The Naked Truth Facebook Group. I will initiate this campaign soon, so please join the group to participate. (It is a closed group, so your posts do not appear on your friends' and families' walls.)

  • Free Ad Space for Non-profits. I am not very good at web design type stuff, but I am hoping to offer free ad space for non-profits too. This is a learning curve issue, so we'll see how soon that happens. (Please bear with me.)

As you can see, the future of NakedTruth.ca is bright. I can't tell you how excited I am. I am calling this project Metamorphosis. Goddess-willing, NakedTruth.ca will become a platform for connecting square community organizations and enforcement agencies with tools, resources, and experts in and from the sex industry.

Please join me on this journey.

The Naked Truth Facebook Group is a great space with many awesome people. We have close to 1000 members, and the atmosphere of the group is supportive and encouraging. Our regular participants are very cool. Come check us out.

You can also subscribe to NakedTruth.ca in its current form, to get updates on the changes as they occur and contribute your expertise and opinions.

To conclude this report, I'd like to share some...AWESOME CLIENT QUOTES from the survey – what problems do clients face...?

“Being perceived as a self-serving sex-buyer or pervert for supporting sex workers' rights.”

“Finding a trade woman in my community who provides a service that I am looking for whether it be full service, erotic massage, bdsm, etc. Some forums and local newspapers do have worker ads but they are hardly exhaustive. Even then, the ad is only two or three lines long so I have to go to the website of each worker to get the details of what services she provides, rates, or age. This becomes cumbersome. A yellow pages for all the workers in the city would be great. This works for plumbers, electricians, grocery store, even movie theatres.”

“As a client, I wish I had more youth, money and opportunity. As an ally, I think there is a need to move resources from evidence , reason and justice based arguments to simple persuasion directed at people who care little about the subject. The reason and justice based arguments have won support with those who care and are able to understand. More support is needed. You either need more passion from current supporters or more supporters.”

I hope I have inspired you to contribute to the future of NakedTruth.ca. Please upload resources to our wiki, become a guest blogger, join our speaker's list, and help us create an comprehensive FAQ for people interested in learning more about our issues and ways to support us.

I look forward to working with you. Contact me for any reason, especially if you'd like to become involved as a guest blogger, be listed as a speaker in your community, or to participate in any other way.

In love and solidarity,

Trina Ricketts


View the complete survey results at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-V5GRZHZV/

What do you think of my ideas for the new NakedTruth.ca? Please contact me or comment below with your ideas and suggestions. Thank you so much!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Please Take Our 3 Question Survey

Hey TNT friends!

The Naked Truth would like to know what our members really want and need.

Please take a few moments to answer 3 short questions (two are multiple choice).

Your answers will help us streamline our content and ensure we are providing information that is relevant and valuable to you.

It will literally take you moments to fill out this survey. Thank you sincerely for your feedback.

Love Annie