London Film Festival Redefines Documentary and Pornography

Christopher Karwowski
LONDON — The term GLBT often leaves off the T. She-males are represented often in adult, but very few true transgender performers are seen in adult film.

The London Trans Film Festival aims to change the fact that the transgender population is underserved in conventional adult. U.K.-based interviewed three people involved in the festival about the definition of "transgender" and their impetus for the festival.

To further define transgender, the group, a loose collection of artists, photographers, filmmakers and performance artists, has redefined GLBT as "LGBTQQIAH" (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Androgyne, Heterosexual), an acronym that is, although unpronounceable, universally inclusive.

Complicated definitions are expected when the festival's focus concerns transgendered black men who create "docu-porn," an emergent form in film as explained by Col Cruise, festival director.

"There isn't much of a concept of fluidity of gender or difference of gender about, definitely not in the mainstream, where a lot of education needs to happen," Cruise said.

"The films in this festival dispel myths and stereotypes within the LGBTQI community and the wider community as well. The festival is about non-violence and getting away from the narrow definition of gender It shows us how to accept difference, diversity and love for each other."

Ignacio Rivera, explains the term "docu-porn" in more detail by referring to "their" (as they prefer neutral pronouns) founding of Poly Patao Productions and its involvement in the festival. "It's cutting edge as no one has heard of the term docu-porn that much, which I think pushes boundaries in multiple ways and London needs that, if not universally."

"My partner Khane, aka Wil Thrustwell, and I were approached by a mutual friend Morty Diamond (director of "Tranny Fags" porn) to do a real-couple porn. He has known of our polyamory and kinky life as well as all of the events we do in conjunction with those identities."

Documentary porn elicits experimental films of Warhol-era bohemians and outsiders. The festival, however includes more than 30 films that address the specific issues addressing the transgender community.

"Docu-porn serves great as a educational tool. Don't get me wrong, I love the 'get-right-to- it-and fuck-porn,'" Rivera explained.

"It, too, serves a purpose. Docu-porn just opens up a new way of watching and learning about sex."

The London Transgender Film Festival runs from Nov. 7 — 9 at the Ritzy Picturehouse in Brixton. More information can be found on the festival's web site