The Film Collaborative Boards Sex Work Documentary ‘Labor’ as Film Screens at CPH:DOX (EXCLUSIVE)

Los Angeles non-profit The Film Collaborative has boarded Swedish director Tove Pils’ debut feature “Labor,” which is competing in the Nordic:Dox section at the Copenhagen Intl. Documentary Film Festival, CPH:DOX.

The film follows Hanna, who leaves her family and girlfriend behind in her small Swedish hometown and travels to San Francisco to explore her sexuality in the city’s vibrant queer scene. She soon meets Chloe, a professional dominatrix, and Cyd, a trans man who works as an escort for gay men. Together with her new friends, she embarks on a journey that takes her further and further away from her life in Sweden.

“Labor” was shot over more than a decade, and one of the reasons it took them so long to put the film together was their concern for the protagonists’ anonymity and the effect it might have on their lives, Pils explains to Variety.

“The way people reacted to me even using the word sex work here in Sweden made me doubt why I was making the film, and if anyone would even be able to listen to what my friends in the film had to say or take in this world that I wanted to portray,” she says.

They were keen to offer a better understanding of their protagonists’ choices, and for them not to be perceived as victims, but as workers with agency over their own lives.

“It felt very violent when people, for example, would say that all sex workers are being raped. I didn’t want my friends in the film to have to deal with that – the violence of someone else defining when you are being raped or not.”

After taking a break in the filmmaking and enrolling at the Academy of Art and Design in Gothenburg, Pils came to realize the answer was in the question: Hanna would not appear in the film, but her voice-over would weave together the interviews with the protagonists.

“I realized that it made so much sense to create the whole form of the film around [the topic of anonymity] since the question of being open or not was so present in the work with the film and is very present for most sex workers that I have met,” Pils says.

“Hanna could be more open than she was in the interviews, and the voice-over also allowed the audience to be ‘inside’ her thoughts, travel with her to the queer community in San Francisco, and follow her whole emotional journey.”

The result is an intimate doc where Pils’ ever-present camera takes viewers on an emotional ride that challenges common perceptions of sex and sex work with sensitivity and respect.

For The Film Collaborative co-executive director Jeffrey Winter, it was a perfect match: “We are known globally for our dedication to cutting-edge queer film portraying oft misunderstood and further marginalized LGBT subcultures, so ‘Labor’ fits our mission and our passion perfectly.”

Recent titles boarded by The Film Collaborative include 2023 Oscar nominee “All That Breathes” and 2022 Sundance winners “Framing Agnes” and “I Didn’t See You There.”

“Labor” is produced by Melissa Lindgren for Swedish production company Story AB in co-production with Kristina Börjeson and Jenny Luukkonen for Film i Väst, with support from the Swedish Film Institute.

The film had its international premiere at CPH:DOX on March 21. The festival runs in Copenhagen from March 15 through March 26.

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article