Film Festival Berlin

I decided to go along to the Berlin Porn Film festival, in search for inspiration, connection and techno. I found everything I was looking for and more. 

I went along with my friend, who had made up quite a tight travel schedule for us, consisting of socialising, films and porn industry days. Upon arrival, I had to hit the ground running. She had warned me that Berlin is a completely different pace of life. I was soon to find out just how fast I had to run, to keep up with the city. 

Upon arrival, I was introduced to her friend group, mainly consisting of gay porn performers. We went out to see the first selection of films: Sci-fi, I am a huge sci-fi fan, and I was completely taken back with the level of imagination and futurism this genre allowed for porn, it was genre bending, queer and marvellous. After the film, Some of us went out for dinner and drinks, and afterwords, the men were planning on going to Fekken, a gay sex club where they could be free to carry on a wild party all night. We retired early, so that I could arrive on time to the first day of the porn film festival industry days.

The first industry day was very inspiring and revelatory. I had the pleasure of attending talks on budget filmmaking, queer representation, on set etiquette and intimacy coordination. It was incredibly exciting to feel like I was part of the indie porn film revolution, being around so many like minded people with the same mission: to make interesting porn. Part way through the day, I saw one of the gay porn performers from the night before, wearing the same clothes as yesterday, smiling and flirting with the men and miraculously looking fresh as a daisy, he seemingly had one mission, asking men to go to Fekken with him, what a hero. 

The second day of the industry only events, was an opportunity to be part of Erika Lust’s workshop on Xconfessions, after so many years of watching her films, it felt like a glimpse behind the curtain, a chance to learn how she and her team plan ideas and bring them into reality. During that day, I also got the chance to meet Max Capacity from Aorta films, a queer film platform, which is pioneering in terms of work ethic, representation, and overall marketing. 

After the event, I went out with some of my friend’s group of pals from Berlin, I did say, it was a different pace of life. I felt as though I was driving full throttle, always on the move, and I could not have been happier. After a social, we retired for the next day. It was going to be a big day for me, I was to submit some of my work in the Gay, fetish and queer archive.

In the morning, I got my comfortable shoes on to make our way across town to the archive, where we were to attend a workshop on archive footage, the history of the archive and the gay scene in Berlin. I had the pleasure of watching some old super 8 films from the early 70s as well as reviewing some lesbian transgressive art from the 80s. I learned that nothing is new, nothing is shocking, and that the only way is forward in terms of queer visibility and ethical porn. It was an immense honour to submit some of my prints to the archive and in some small way, contribute to the history of porn.

Later that day, we went out to see some more films, this time it was fetish and bdsm shorts, which were displayed in large grandiose cinemas, a welcome change, and what felt like an epic moment, which screamed ‘we’re here’.

It was then that I knew I had to submit to any and every porn film festival I could, to get the Carnal productions brand out there and proudly displayed on a cinema screen alongside my peers. 

The next day, we went out and sampled some street food and got ready for a big night out at the Kit Kat club, as I was not keen on waiting in a queue for the techno rave at Berghain. It was a Sunday, and we arrived dressed up under our jackets in fetish wear, but we didn’t see many other people looking like they were ready to strip off and get into kink. Luckily when we got close to the door, we saw everyone putting their clothes on hangers and with a sigh of relief we went in. I was taken back by the swimming pool in the club, and the kind of punk aesthetic of the club, a million miles away from what we have in the UK. Since it was a special halloween party, the DJs were fantastic and relentless. I had a strap on, a small vibrator and a dildo crushed into my tiny bag, with a flogger hanging off the side, I was in my element. It was a fantastic way to end an incredibly special holiday.

I could still hear the echoes of moans, high hats and laughter on the plane home on Tuesday.