Organizing The Film Festival

Hi All,

Big step forward today for the film festival: we talked to the licensing department at our local council.

The chap we met was nice, non-judgmental and informative. We now have a better idea of the likely issues and the potential sticking points for the council on holding the festival locally.

We are preparing a detailed event proposal to submit to them, along with a DVD of films submitted to the zeroth festival.

Then they can give us their considered legal opinion on whether they would be happy to have the event held here, what form it should take and what conditions they might require. Once we have approval in principle from them we can approach venues (indeed they may be able to put us in touch with suitable venues).

We’ll be asking other producers for their comments on our draft proposal at the zeroth festival. Here is a bullet-point outline of the event we think we will propose, if anyone has any suggestions please do let us know!


  • An event to bring together film-makers, academics and film aficionados to watch and discuss films portraying alternative sexual identities, fetishes and fetish lifestyles.
  • Mainstream media portrayals of fetishists and fetish lifestyles are usually made by outsiders (50 shades of grey…). Are their portrayals fair, realistic, accurate? Or are they judgmental, prejudiced, unfair?
  • The availability of affordable high quality digital cameras is revolutionizing movie making. Fetishists can now easily make films themselves.
  • What is it like to have a particular fetish? What does it feel like from the inside if that is a big part of your life? How do you integrate your fetish into your life in a good and healthy way?
  • We believe the best way to answer these questions is to look at the films we make ourselves, as people who share the fetish. We want to provide a British event to watch and discuss these films in a constructive, non-judgemental atmosphere.
  • The last thing we want is drunken louts jeering or laughing at the screen, and we are constructing the event accordingly.
  • As film-makers we also want to provide a motivation (and deadline!) for making and finishing films.
  • We also want to stimulate skill exchanges with other film-makers. We know we are a long way short of the budget and hence technical polish of Hollywood- but we have a lot of freedom that they don’t have, too. Maybe by sharing expertise we can make better films next year. We’d like to have as many film-makers attend as possible.

Event Specifics

  • Held in the daytime, at a weekend, maybe Saturday 12 noon to 6 pm. We think this will allow more film-makers to come, and avoid any concerns the council might have had about late-night pron events with drunken fetishists spilling out onto the streets at 3 am.
  • Held in a comfortable, private venue conducive to watching films and holding discussions. (E.g. a hotel conference room, private cinema, lecture hall).
  • Screening of films, interspersed with discussions led by film-makers and academics (we already have some academics interesting in attending who have offered to do this).
  • Event for circa 60-100 people.
  • Adults only, ID checks.
  • Tickets in advance rather than sales on the door.
  • Organised and advertised online. Fetlife groups and twitter and contacts via other fetish events rather than posters on lamp-posts in the local area.
  • Dress code, the specifics of which will need to be agreed with the council and the venue. We understand that people might want to dress up to attend, maybe we can have a private area within which it will be OK to dress up. Totally depends on venue.
  • If at all possible, tea and cakes 🙂

The Films

All of this hinges on what the council and their legal advisors say about the films. This could be anything from “these are all harmless, go ahead” through to “none of these are in any way acceptable”. Personally I suspect they will have specific issues with specific films… but we won’t know until they watch them and respond.

We will then work with them to produce submission guidelines for the festival, to try to ensure that people submit films which the council will be happy with us screening.

Exciting! We’ll keep you posted!

Hywel & Ariel

About Hywel

Particle physicist turned fetish photographer, producer and director. I run and together with my wife, who is variously known as Ariel Anderssen or Amelia Jane Rutherford, depending on whether she's getting tied up or spanked at the time.

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