HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Dave Pounder’s all-things-adult documentary “Risky Business” screened last Sunday at the Arpa International Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.
The feature-length film used performers’ perspectives to filter major themes currently affecting the industry, including the ongoing debates about mandatory condom usage in porn and mainstream employment discrimination against industry employees.
“It’s really an academic sort of documentary,” Pounder told XBIZ. “It’s very balanced: Michael Weinstein liked it and he’s like the big ‘put condoms in porn’ guy and Larry Walters loved it, and he’s a porn attorney.”
Pounder — a former adult performer, director and producer — recruited some of the most familiar faces in the biz to give their two cents, including Diane Duke, Sunny Leone, Howard Levine and Gregory Piccionelli, who all offered opinions from the vantage point of their diverse expertise.
While the first half focuses on what Pounder calls the “yay” aspects of porn, including fat checks, freedom and travel opportunities, the latter part highlights its hazards, like STD exposure and possible post-industry job discrimination.
The 16-year-old Arpa International Film Festival places a focus on the work of filmmakers who explore the issues of diaspora, exile and multi-culturalism, with a strong emphasis placed on ideals of independent thought, artistic vision, cultural diversity and social understanding. The inclusion of “Risky Business” in the red carpet event seemed to validate the adult business as a culture unto itself, with an equal right to voice its internal social concerns.
“20 years ago, it probably wouldn’t have gotten into any film festivals,” Pounder said, adding that his documentary has been included in several festivals across the country. “You can see that society is moving towards a more progressive attitude.”
“Risky Business: A Look Inside America’s Adult Film Industry” will screen again in Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. at the Other Venice Film Festival, which is being held at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291.