SAN FRANCISCO — NSFW, the independent film arm of NakedSword.com, will debut “Nova Dubai,” the acclaimed film by Brazilian auteur Gustavo Vinagre, on the site this weekend.
In Vinagre’s sexually explicit hybrid-documentary, the director, his boyfriend and their friends rebel against local gentrification that's brought towering condominiums for the ultra-wealthy to their neighborhood.
Adam Baran, curator for the NSFW program, first saw the Nova Dubai at a screening at New York’s Lincoln Center as part of their prestigious “Art of the Real” festival. It played nearly fifty festivals, including Rotterdam, Torino, and MIX Brazil, but had trouble finding distribution, due to shots of explicit sex, before Baran brought it to NakedSword.
“It’s a really engaging and compelling film that weaves together complex issues of globalization, income inequality, immigration, masculinity, and sexuality in a frank queer context. And it does it in a really playful and sexy way, so I was really excited to bring it to NSFW, which is so focused on bridging the cultural gap around sex. Fans of films like ‘Stranger by the Lake,’ ‘Shortbus’ and ‘I Want Your Love’ now have a new favorite film.”
“Nova Dubai,” or "New Dubai," intersperses real stories of gay men — and non-identifying men who have sex with men — in the shadow of a rapidly changing São Paulo.
Vinagre draws explicit comparisons between the two.
“My point was to pose a question to society: what is truly pornographic and obscene? A dick? Sex? Love between two people? Or ugly buildings that serve to heat the economy and to make public spaces private, separating people?” he asked for an interview that was published on TheSword.com. “Unfortunately, that is what this globalized and hyper-capitalist world is doing to us: making us uncreative people in all levels. I’m really excited to show the film in this new way on NakedSword. Porn has never been to me something I would need to defend myself from."
Tim Valenti, president of Falcon Studios Group and creator of NSFW, was equally direct.
“This is a political film that isn’t shy about sex, and it would be a crime to let the presence of one silence the other. This is no time for our community to self-censor, or to deny dissenting voices. We need to get more films like this out there, as both an industry and a community.”
Previous films in the NSFW lineup have included Brontez Purnell’s “100 Boyfriends Mixtape,” Konstantin Bock’s “Hattie Goes Cruising,” Antonio Hens' “Doors Cut Down (en malas compañías)”, Robert Aquino’s “Catharis,” Menela’s “Raspberry Reich GR” and Wes Hurley’s “Zolushka.”
NakedSword.com has a history of supporting independent film. The company produced Travis Mathew’s “I Want Your Love,” and co-produced “Seed Money,” director Michael Stabile’s documentary about gay activist Chuck Holmes, currently in festival release.