Queer porn showcase offers more than money shots

Queer porn showcase offers more than money shots

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The Hot Bits Queer XXX Film Festival is a cinematic celebration of passion, pleasure and politics from a queer perspective.

Hot Bits is featuring 25 films from around the globe April 26-27 at Lightbox Film Center.

Different movies will be screened each night, and performers, including Icon Ebony Fierce and Mistress Lilith, will entertain the audience.

Spectators can also browse wares from vendors like Darb Garb, which makes whimsical non-phallic packers, and get information from local organizations, including SEXx Interactive, which has a sex-positive event of its own planned for May 17. There’s even an afterparty, Hot Cakes, where another 20 films will be screened.

Despite all the activities, movies are paramount at Hot Bits. 

“We’re really focusing on, or the majority of the time is spent, watching films from around the world that range from softcore to hardcore,” said Evie Snax, a local queer artist and performer.

Snax and fellow organizers Heart Byrne, Wit López and Arazel Newman have curated a film festival that offers an alternative to mainstream porn. For starters, they’ve gathered films from as far away as New Zealand and South Africa. That’s significant, because it gives viewers a glimpse of queer life outside North America.

The organizers also selected work that resists the typical tropes of mainstream porn, which include the ubiquitous “money shot,” gym-sculpted bodies and a single-minded emphasis on the pleasure of cis-het white males.

“What we want to do is sort of alleviate the burden that some of those tropes and images have on our community and instead provide an alternative that is full of abundance and positivity and different queer sexuality, ways of relating to one another, ways of experiencing pleasure,” Snax said.

Consequently, Hot Bits shows films that foreground consent and curves and feature performers who are queer, transgender and people of color. Many of the movies are do-it-yourself projects that run the gamut from erotic to explicit.

This year’s films include “Cherry Cola,” a humorous paean to the pleasures of soda pop, and “Hot Tea,” a sexy animated take on the ritual of making and drinking tea. 

There’s also an excerpt from “Kitchen Talk,” which Snax edited. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the set of a queer porn film where the performers, all people of color, laugh, cry and discuss their feelings. 

“I think it’s really also important that we document the emotional side of this, for us,” says Caritia, one of the performers, “because more often than not, we don’t.”

Hot Bits also gives local filmmakers an opportunity to share their work, such as with “Frutas,” a collaborative effort from Topsy Pendejo, Consuelo Fuego, Sin Vxrgüxnza and Cariño and “Allegheny Cemetery,” featuring Annie Mok and Lynx.

  “It’s their first time making films, I think, for both of them, and I’m really excited to screen their films because those films were made exclusively for Hot Bits,” Snax said.

  It’s fitting that Hot Bits encourages rookie filmmakers. Snax and Byrne were in that position themselves only a few years ago. In 2016, they had a movie accepted at the Berlin Porn Film Festival, which they attended. They returned to Philadelphia determined to do something similar here.

The first Hot Bits, which took place in 2017, was an intimate, invite-only event for a few-dozen friends. And it was a huge hit.

“People literally told us that the event changed their life,” said Snax. “So we thought, OK, let’s make this a public thing.”

Part of making Hot Bits public is including the audience, which is where Hot Cakes comes in.

“The afterparty gives you an opportunity to flirt with people, mingle with people, dance, sweat, feel your body, get out some of that tension; maybe let some of that sexy energy surround you,” said Snax.

DJ Delish and DJ Manifest Love will be spinning at the afterparty, which also includes a pole dancer and a “sexy” pancake-eating contest. Best of all, Hot Cakes benefits Project SAFE, which advocates on behalf of women sex-workers: cis, trans and gender non-conforming.

It’s an ambitious program for such a young film festival, but Snax hopes it makes a positive impression.

“I would love for people to come away with an expansive, new idea about the possibilities and values of queer porn. And to feel connected to a potentially global community of queer, horny, freaky weirdos.” 

 

For more information, visit www.hotbitsfilmfest.com.


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