Daniella Carter and Dominique Silver from New York City as well as Liyah Mitchell and Koko Da Doll (†) from Atlanta are trans, Black and sex workers. Like a sleepover, they tell D. Smith – responsible for directing, writing, producing, cinematography, editing, and (an exceedingly nice) soundtrack – about their lives, their work, the violence they experience along the way, and their place in the Black community. Despite a successful career as a producer for Lil Wayne, Billy Porter and Katy Perry, among others, D. Smith was forced out of the music industry when she began her own transition. Middle-aged and homeless, the idea for the film was born out of the thought: What would happen if I myself were also dependent on sex work? Panorama Audience Award at the Berlinale.
Nominated for the QueerScope Debut Film Award!
Content warning: mention of child abuse, trans murders, police brutality, sexual assault, and anti-Black racism.
USA 2023 | Documentary | R: D. Smith | 73 min. | English with German subtitles
Justina and her daughter Alexia live in a mysterious, half-ruined castle somewhere in the Argentine countryside. While Justina takes care of the ever-present animals and sells beef to maintain the house she inherited from its original owner, Alexia wants to go to Buenos Aires and become a professional Formula One racing driver. In addition, the family of the former owner visits regularly and continues to treat the two indigenous women like servants. A film between fiction and documentary, which sometimes stages fairy tale, sometimes horror atmosphere.
The Castle | ARG/F 2023 | Feature film | R: Martín Benchimol | 78 min. | Spanish with German subtitles
It’s 2018: Esther Newton is presented with the award of the Association for Queer Anthropology. A room full of people clap enthusiastically, one person proudly presenting a t-shirt that reads “Esther Newton Made Me Gay.” But who is Esther Newton? Back in the 1960s, she wrote her dissertation on the U.S. drag scene – a year before Stonewall, at a time when it could easily mean career-ending – and her decades of work laid a foundation for today’s gender and queer studies.
This documentary is about Esther Newton’s lifelong love of anthropology, her time in the lesbian feminist movement, and her second great passion: training dogs for skill competitions.
USA 2022 | Documentary | R: Jean Carlomusto | 92 min. | English with German subtitles