XCritic Attends the 2014 CineKink Film Festival
By Rob Perez
XCritic was privileged to attend the 11th annual CineKink Film Festival held in New York City recently. Calling itself the “Kinky Film Festival,” CineKink 2014 brought in a diverse range of films from filmmakers who couldn’t be more different yet capture the spirit of independent filmmaking with a sexual twist. What CineKink offers is an alternative from the usual independent film festivals as it seeks to broaden awareness and “Push the acceptance of sex in film,” according to CineKink co-founder and director Lisa Vandever. In addition to its edgy showcase of films during the four day festival, CineKink has also been on the forefront of featuring female filmmakers and courting female audience members to its festival, which accounts for the high number of female attendees, volunteers and others working behind the scenes. It’s no surprise then that one of the unofficial themes of this year’s festival could’ve been “women taking control of their sexuality.”
The lineup of films in this year’s festival easily fit the bill, many of them featuring women in powerful dominant roles. In the case of the documentary The Sarnos: A Life In Dirty Movies (CineKink Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature) about the late sexploitation director Joe Sarno, his films celebrated female empowerment by way of how Sarno filmed his sex scenes, always making the woman the focus and focusing on the pleasure she’s receiving.
A scene from The Sarnos: A Life In Dirty Movies
Another film that generated positive buzz, NSFW is an often funny but also a powerful look at role playing, particularly among two virtual strangers, and Internet hook ups who at first keep it strictly casual but eventually find themselves becoming more intimate despite the two having significant others. The key thing to take note of is NSFW focuses more on the male body, including a long lingering view of an erect penis, and it is a soft core film made more for women’s taste in erotica than men.
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A scene from NSFW
Another festival winner for Best Narrative Feature, Broken Side of Time looks into the world of Internet modeling and one of the few women who’ve made a career out of it, Dolce. A successful glamour and fetish model, Dolce no longer finds satisfaction (or steady gigs) in that world since turning 30 and embarks on a road trip that symbolizes a look back at the last 10 years of her life as a model, shooting for the last time with some of her favorite photographers. Along the way we see her letting go of some vices, and really owning and gaining control of her sexuality in her last days as a nude model and embarking on her new career as a photographer.
A scene from Broken Side of Time
With the festival’s entire focus devoted to sex in film, CineKink has created a space that celebrates it and igniting conversation about sexuality out into the world via films. “By bringing together folks who share a like-minded appreciation of its honest representation, we’ve also established a venue where filmmakers, from both sides of the adult/non-adult fence, know they can come with their work,” says Vandever. “It’s such an honor that we have so many returning filmmakers each year, some who are creating pieces with us specifically in mind.” The CineKink tour, which includes stops in Seattle, Oakland, Las Vegas, Portland, Washington DC and Chicago later this year is also exploring how to bring the next decade of decadence to an international and cyber audience. “The goal for the next decade is to find ways to bring more of our works out into the world,” continues Vandever. “I love the excitement and community sense of bringing everyone together in New York for an annual extravaganza, and that will certainly continue and expand. At the same time, we need to hit more cities on the road. And also make some of our offerings available online, to reach audiences that might otherwise not have access.”
The Sex It Up! Panel discussion (PHOTO COURTESY OF STACIE JOY/CINEKINK)
The Winners for the 2014 CineKink Choice – Audience Choice Awards, determined by audience balloting at the close of each screening were the following:
CineKink Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature:
"Broken Side of Time (Directed by Gorman Bechard, 2013, USA, 126 minutes.)
CineKink Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature:
"The Sarnos: A Life in Dirty Movies" (Wiktor Ericsson, 2013, Sweden, 80 minutes)
The Winners for the 2014 CineKink Best – Jury Awards for Best Shorts, which go to short works in competition during the festival were:
CineKink Best Dramatic Short:
"Humain Chaleur" (Christophe Predari, 2012, Belgium, 11 minutes)
CineKink Best Comedy Short:
"Another Happy Anniversary" (Miranda Bailey, USA, 2013, 21 minutes)
CineKink Best Experimental Short:
"Dear Jiz" (Ms. Naughty, 2013, Australia, 10 minutes)
"Trains – Final Cut" (Paul Deeb, USA, 2013, 10 minutes)
CineKink Best Documentary Short:
"Black Folk Don’t: Do BDSM" (Angela Tuckers, 2013, USA, 10 minutes)
CineKink Honorable Best Mentions:
"Music Box" (Anna Brownfield, 2013, Australia, 11 minutes)
"Tom's Gift" (Todd Verow & Charles Lum, 2013, USA, 7 minutes)
"Un Bisous Americain" (JM Darling, 2013, USA, 9 minutes.
The Winner for the 2014 CineKink "Bring It!" award, determined by audience ballot during a presentation of short works and excerpts showcasing adult cinema was:
"de-railed" (Quinn Cassidy and Creamy Coconut, 2013, USA, 12 minutes.)
First runner-up: "The Submission of Emma Marx" (Eddie Powell and Jacky St. James, 2013, USA, excerpt.)
For more information, visit CineKink online at cinekink.com. All photos courtesy of CineKink.com and the CineKink Flickr page. Follow CineKink on Twitter @cinekink.