D and I are currently on our way to the first ever British Fetish Film Festival - a new UK festival run by Hywel Phillips and Ariel Anderssen, screening adult fetish films to a sympathetic audience. A couple of years ago we attended the "zeroth" festival - a dry run for producers to screen their films to each other and test the format. That was my first ever experience watching my film on a large screen and I learned a lot from it.
Two years later, I'm a bit less of a nervous newbie. Last year I attended several porn screenings, including at the Feminist Porn Awards and the Berlin Porn Film Festival - as well as an excitingly official screening of 'Silver Shoes' by Blue Artichoke Films at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. (Feminist porn! On a mainstream cinema! In London! I think we can call that progress.)
The film I submitted to this one, the British Fetish Film Festival, is Instructed, which I've already seen screened in Berlin. I didn't hate it on the big screen - in fact I thought it played well, mostly thanks to Ms Naughty and Luke's gorgeous videography and Ms Naughty's editing. Now that I've already watched myself push a lubed-up butt plug into my arsehole in front of a few hundred people, I feel like a veteran, and this time I don't think I'll need to hide behind a cushion as my film is screened.
The version I submitted is a new edit by me, drawing heavily on Ms Naughty's pacing choices which I thought worked so well in Berlin. It's going to be the first time I've watched this film on a big screen with D there, which will be a happy thing. 'Instructed' not only uses his words and his voice, but it tells the story of an important moment in our relationship, in which he surprised me from across the ocean with a loving gesture of support for my porn career, that left me feeling affirmed, dominated, and very loved. I'll always be fond of 'Instructed', and I'm looking forward to showing it to my fellow UK producers.
The festival will also include a couple of workshops, including one I'm leading on the new UK porn laws, and one Hywel is leading on making films more cinematic. I plan to use my workshop to incite a worker-led porn revolution against government censorship. No, seriously. I'm planning something. Let me know if you want to get involved.
But the thing I'm most nervous and excited about is Sunday, when I'll be taking a 50-stroke sponsored cold caning as part of our fundraiser for Backlash UK. Last month I ran an Indiegogo campaign pledging to take one hard cane stroke for every £10 raised, and Nimue Allen joined me in putting her arse on the line. I was astonished by the rate at which donations flooded in, and we quickly reached our self-imposed maximum of 50 strokes each. By the time the campaign ended, we'd raised a staggering £3836 for Backlash, with a total of ten volunteers willing to take a hard caning to help fight porn censorship. Every penny of the total is going to Backlash to help them campaign against the new porn legislation, and to help provide legal support for those affected by these regressive laws.
Nimue took her caning yesterday, and Ariel Anderssen and I are taking ours on Sunday after the festival. In fact, I'll be administering Ariel's beating before D gives me mine, because there's no better way to get me in the mood for a caning than to dish one out. The canings will all be filmed and the videos will be released for free online - both as a thank you to the 105 generous contributors who made the fundraiser such a success, and as a Creative Commons project to raise awareness about the unjust censorship of our freedom of sexual expression in the UK. Watch this space!