Parker Williams Honored at Torino Film Festival

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Gay performer-turned-director Parker Williams is going where no American gay porn star has gone before — he’s being honored by Italy’s Torino Film Festival.

For the first time in its 23-year history, the Torino GLBT Film Festival will pay tribute to a personality from the gay porn world. Williams, who has performed in over 30 gay titles and directed Raging Stallion Studios’ “Lube Job” in 2005, is the first American porn star to be given such an honor.

The festival, which is also known as “Da Sodoma a Hollywood,” takes place from April 17-25.

“After 23 years, the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in Torino is one of the most influential in Europe, seated in the arts center of Italy,” Williams said. “The organization decided — after realizing the influence gay porn has on gay society — to open the venue to the American gay porn industry with the intent of spotlighting a specific individual. It turns out that I’ll be the first recipient of this honor. I’m thrilled beyond belief.”

Williams’ first film was Catalina Video’s “Street Date” in 2001.

“I wish I could talk of a story depicting me sitting in a soda shop while being discovered,” he said, “but the reality is that I needed the cash, and I knew porn was a perfect second job for me. I will be forever thankful, however, to Josh Eliot at Catalina for opening the door for me.”

During his career, he has worked with established companies such as Titan Media, Studio 2000, Channel 1 Releasing, Falcon, All Worlds Video and Raging Stallion.

Williams will present his directorial debut film “Lube Job” at the festival.

“A few months ago, out of the blue, a representative of the festival contacted me by email, briefly explained himself and inquired if I had any interest in taking part in the festival,” Williams told XBIZ. “The invite caught me totally by surprise. Let’s face it, this sort of thing doesn’t come our way very often — if at all — so I intend to make the best impression as they show clips and honor my work. Needless to say, I am thrilled shitless, having the time of my life and feel like I won an Oscar.”

Giuseppe Savoca, programmer for the Turin GLBT Film Festival, wrote that email to Williams.

“We have one [section of the Festival] called Porno Visions that this year will be focused on U.S. male pornography from a historical point of view, with screenings of films from the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s to the most recent ones,” Savoca wrote. “We thought to invite a famous porn star to introduce one or two films of his career, and I immediately thought of you, as you are one of the most loved porn stars by the Italian audience.

“The idea would be to have you at the festival introducing one of the first and one of the latest movies you made,” he continued. “This can be very interesting for audiences to comprehend the evolution of a career during the years, and for us, it would be a way to tribute you and your career.”

“The choice of honoring a gay porn star, which might seem controversial, is long overdue within a program that has always been characterized with courage and quality,” a festival representative said. “In the last few years, pornography has become a social and artistic phenomenon, with many visual artists from the new generation being inspired by its aesthetics.

“Parker Williams’ personal charisma, spontaneity, good looks and performance skills have made him a standout amongst all the other models working in the industry,” the representative said. “His capacity to immerse himself into every sort of male stereotype without losing his personality is quite uncommon and extraordinary.”

“I am honored, thrilled, humbled and on top of the fucking earth,” Williams said.

In addition to gay adult films, Williams has also performed onstage — along with porn star Matthew Rush — in the camp play “Cell Bloq,” a remake of the 1984 comedy film “Boys of Cellblock Q,” directed by John C. Wahl. The play has received good reviews and excellent feedback from audiences.

Together, Williams and Rush have founded Savage Monkey, a film production company that specializes in gay entertainment.

“I can’t say much about Savage Monkey right now, other than it’s blueprinted to be a production company,” Williams said. “We have to be patient, as our schedules have forced us to push some dates back. We’ll have more information soon.”

This honor is not the final step in Williams’ porn career.

“My goals have changed now,” he said. “I am pursuing the production side and directing my own; I think it’s important to get my vision and my own voice out there. I don’t plan on going anywhere just yet.”

For more information on Williams, visit his website.

For more information on the Torino Film Festival, visit its site or email .