Jan 292009

>Or where’s your nomination, rather, which we’re currently accepting for the CineKink Tribute, an annual award that honors outstanding depictions of kink and sex-positivity in mainstream film and television.

Last year’s CineKink Tribute was presented to the film Shortbus— which was directed by our long-time nemesis, John Cameron Mitchell, and distributed by ThinkFilm–for its “frank, funny and human look at the inextricable role sexuality plays in our day-to-day lives and the many flavors it can exhibit.”

Meanwhile, honorable mentions (aka the CineKink Nod) went to Focus Feature’s Lust, Caution, to ThinkFilm’s documentary release Zoo and to the syndicated series, The Oprah Winfrey Show. (Yes, that Oprah…for the episode “237 Reasons to Have Sex”!) (You thought there were only 236?)

A wide range of works–will it be Tyra?–are eligible for consideration, as long as they were released for US distribution (theatrical, broadcast and/or cable) at any time in 2008. Winners will be announced in conjunction with CineKink NYC, which is coming up February 24-March 1, 2009.

So, who’s gonna take it home this year? Let us know!

Mar 072008

>As promised – though slightly delayed by the lingering and distracting effects of our Afterglow – a variety of CineKink NYC awards were announced at our awards celebration on Sunday night!

CineKink Choice awards, which go to feature-length works in competition during the festival, were determined by audience balloting at the close of each eligible work’s screening. The 2008 award winners are:

CineKink Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature:
“Call Me Troy” (Scott Bloom, 2007, USA, 100 minutes)

CineKink Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature:
“Viva” (Anna Biller, 2006, USA, 120 minutes)

CineKink Choice Award for Best Experimental Feature:
“Silken Sleeves” (Maria Beatty, 2006, USA, 50 minutes)

CineKink Choice Award – Honorable Mention:
“Triple X Selects: The Best of Lezsploitation”
(Michelle Johnson, 2007, USA, 48 minutes)

CineKink Best awards, which go to short works in competition during the festival, were determined by jury deliberation and ranking. The 2008 award winners are:

CineKink Best Narrative Short:
“Who’s the Top?” (Jennie Livingston, 2005, USA, 22 minutes)

CineKink Best Documentary Short:
“Coming Out Spanko” (Tanya Bezreh, 2008, USA, 15 minutes)

CineKink Best Animated Short:
“Teat Beat of Sex” (Signe Baumane, 2007, USA, 4 minutes)

CineKink Best Experimental Short:
“Closer” (Aitor Echeverria, 2007, Spain, 7 minutes)
“Salt” (Campbell Farquhar, 2006, New Zealand, 3 minutes)

Honorable Mention/Best Experimental Short:
“Crossing” (HP Comings, 2007, USA, 19 minutes)

CineKink Honorable Best Mentions:
“Office Mobius” (Seung Hyung Lee & Seungil Hwang, 2007, USA, 5 minutes)
“Something About Nadia” (Erika Lust, 2007, Spain, 21 minutes)
“Wash Me Clean” (Michael Immerman, 2008, USA, 30 minutes)

This year’s jury included Thor Stockman, creator and presenter of the popular film clip program “S/M at the Movies,” Viviane, ring-leader of the sex blog, “Viviane’s Sex Carnival, and Bill Woods, a film festival programmer and curator of the New Filmmakers series at Anthology Film Archives.

“Schwarzwald” (Richard Kimmel, 2007, USA, 59 minutes)

Recognizing extraordinary depiction of kink and sex in mainstream film and television, the annual CineKink Tribute was presented to:

“Shortbus” (2006, USA, 106 minutes)
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Screenwriter: John Cameron Mitchell
Cast: Sook-Yin Lee, Paul Dawson, Lindsay Beamish, PJ DeBoy, Raphael Barker, Jay Brannan, Peter Stickles and Justin Bond.
Producers: Howard Gertler, John Cameron Mitchell and Tim Perell
Executive Producer: Wouter Barendrecht and Alexis Fish
Distributor: ThinkFilm

CineKink Tribute Honorable Mentions (aka The CineKink Nod):
Lust, Caution” (Focus Features)
The Oprah Winfrey Show – 237 Reasons to Have Sex
Zoo” (ThinkFilm)

Many thanks and congratulations to this year’s CineKink award winners – and to all of our uber-talented filmmakers!

Mar 192007

>There’s nothing like a 25-hour trip home through frigid conditions to blur recent memories of a week spent knocking about spring-like Texas, especially when those recollections might have already been made hazy by a week of tequila and BBQ.

After a few days of sleep, however, it’s all starting to come back to us. We arrived in Austin to learn that our panel, Sex Scenes Stay Hard, was being touted as a “must-do” in the local media. It took us several days to tackle our resultant stage fright, but by the time we finally faced a room packed with attendees eagerly anticipating tidbits of uproariously naughty wisdom, our nerves had been reduced to a minor frog lodged at the back of our throat.

We were definitely comforted that the panel also featured other actual experts on the topic of shooting sex scenes – directors Bryan Poyser, Joe Swanberg and John Cameron Mitchell (who coyly avoided any acknowledgement of completely coopting our intended career trajectory), along with producer Lisa Thrasher of POWER UP. You can see a few video excerpts here, but generally the discussion touched upon the frequent conflict between sex and narrative, the importance of making cast comfortable and ensuring a connection between them, and the hypocrisy of a society that seemingly doesn’t question the depiction of violence, no matter how extreme, yet goes into a tizzy fit over the presence of a mere bare breast. As time flew by, the topics of ratings, obscenity laws and 2257 requirements were probably given shorter shrift than they deserve, but we’re just happy we somehow managed to work the word “cunninlingus” into the conversation, since now that we know how to pronounce it, we just can’t seem to say it often enough.

Other excitements at SXSW included meeting up with several in the flesh representatives from the CineKinkster blogroll. We probably spent more time in Austin with the lovely, cupcake-wielding Rachel Kramer Bussel than we’ve ever pulled off in NYC, after she appeared on one of the (strangely?) most controversial panels of the interactive conference, Do You Blog on the First Date? We had the pleasure of finally meeting both Violet Blue and Cory Silverberg, who were speaking on Sex and Computational Technology. (Teledildonics? Now there’s another great word!) And we encountered the delightful Seska Lee, in town for Pay Up! Should Publishers Choose the Porn Path?, whose Seska 4 Lovers was previously unknown to us, but whom we eventually recognized from an episode of HBO’s porn-related something-or-whichever.

And movies? There were marathon days of great screenings, including a few on the CineKink scouting roster: Zoo, a beautifully shot if perhaps overly tasteful retelling of one man’s death from having sex with a horse, and Pretty in the Face, a tender narrative about porn, sex toys and opening up to one’s own sexuality. But for our money, the kinkiest of them all by far was Helvetica, a documentary look at the twisted world of compulsive typography fetishists.

Many thanks to the ever-gracious Matt Dentler – how does he manage to be in so many places at the same time? – and Jarod Neece for the wonderful time and for SXSW’s sex-positive inclusivity. We’re already looking forward to coming back again next year. (Please?!?)

Feb 222007

>We’re counting the days until our return to the Lonestar State and our eagerly-anticipated – by us, anyway – participation in the SXSW film festival panel, Sex Scenes Stay Hard:

Love scenes might be the toughest thing for a filmmaker, actors and crew to accomplish. Under play it, and the audience does not believe there is connection between the characters. Go too far, and you’ll get yourself a NC-17 rating. From behind the camera to between the sheets to behind the scenes, this roundtable will discuss what it takes to get that love connection on film and keep those scenes in the final cut.

At one point in our prior existence as a young, enterprising film development sort, we actually contemplated starting our own company, to be deemed “NC-17 Productions,” with the thought of making balls-to-the-wall (so to speak) explicit, albeit narratively sophisicated fare. But then that conniving John Cameron Mitchell stole the idea and totally ran with it. Um, Shortbus … you might have heard of it? Anyway, we’re really not so bitter anymore, all we’re suggesting is that the NC-17 rating – or none at all – need not be regarded as the sign of the beast and might actually be embraced as a badge of distinction. (Then again, we did see This Film Is Not Yet Rated – at last year’s SXSW actually – and we have to concede that either can be a bit of a distribution, er, hindrance.)

It should be a jolly discussion. Moderating will be Bryan Poyser, who, among other things, directed the CineKinkster fave Dear Pillow. Rounding out the panel will be director Joe Swanberg (Hannah Takes the Stairs, LOL) and POWER UP’s Lisa Thrasher (Itty Bitty Titty Committee), along with actor Jay Brannan and director John Cameron Mitchell (yep, him again!) of Shortbus.

We’re up on Monday, March 12 @ 3pm. Drop in if you’re around!