CatalystCon West Announces Film Series Lineup

Lila Gray

LOS ANGELES — Dee Dennis, founder of the CatalystCon sexuality conference, announced the lineup for the first annual CatalystCon Film Series. The film series will take place on Thursday, Sept. 11 and will feature the films “Slut: A Documentary Film” and “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story.”

“Slut: A Documentary Film” presents the stories of girls and women who have been the victims of sexual bullying and slut shaming in the U.S. and Canada. Emily Lindin, creator of The UnSlut Project, and director Jessica Caimi spoke to women about their experiences with slut shaming, as well as media figures, sexologists, psychologists and other experts, including Drs. Carol Queen, Shira Tarrant and Ebony Utley.

“Slut,” according to the filmmakers, explores how we can work toward change in our schools, communities and culture, starting with ourselves. A director’s cut of the film will be screened for the first time at CatalystCon West, followed by a Q&A with Lindin and Caimi.

“I am so excited for The UnSlut Project to be a part of CatalystCon's debut film series event,” said Lindin. “The informed, sex-positive community at CatalystCon will be a wonderful audience and a great source of feedback for ‘Slut: A Documentary Film.’”

In “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story,” former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck. Beck’s journey in search of the American ideals that she protected have a whole new meaning as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman. Beck hid her true identity throughout and after her service, knowing she would "lose it all if anyone were to know her secret," she said. She came out publicly in 2013, a year and a half after her retirement.

The film presents interviews with Beck’s family and friends about her service, as well as their reactions to her coming out. It also includes footage of Chris Beck in training and combat. While Beck says many people have been supportive, others reacted with surprising bigotry.

“I thank CatalystCon for including the documentary film ‘Lady Valor’ in their film series this September in L.A.,” Beck said. “More importantly I wish to thank the entire staff of CatalystCon for their never-ending search for understanding in human sexuality and sparking the activist in all of us toward truth and enlightenment.”

“I’m so excited to be part of the evolution of CatalystCon,” said Carol Queen, who will serve as host for the Film Series and conduct Q&A sessions with Lindin, Caimi and Beck after their films are screened. “Offering films that illuminate sex/gender diversity and issues is a logical next step for this terrific conference that brings people together to explore some of the most pressing and interesting sex-related topics of our times.”

CatalystCon West will take place at the Westin LAX Sept. 11-14. Registration for the conference and the Film Series is currently open at CatalystCon.com/register. The Film Series is open to the public, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Center for Sex & Culture.

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