After 4 months of trials and tribulations surrounding the Petra Joy Award (I will not bore you with the details with the many of what went wrong), the four winners have been awarded and celebrated in Berlin in the sold-out Movimento cinema. We had many amazing submissions from all over the world and the jury discussed long and hard about whom should win the prizes because all films were special in their own way.
The winners are Louise Lush (First Prize), Lola Clavo (Second Prize), Linsey Satterthwaite (Third Prize) and Cora Emens (Special Jury Award).
Even though the creative style of the films varied there were some similarities in the films: One prevailing element of many films was the expression of what women want in bed: The first and third prize (“That’s what I like” and “I like it when”) both expressed visually and verbally what turns some women on. The common message is: the shame is over – women can now talk freely in public about what they desire sexually by making a film about female sexual pleasure. Some of the filmmakers such as Linsey Satterthwaite and Cora Emens decided not just to direct but also star in their films – an experience that both women perceived as extremely empowering.
The winner of the second prize, Lola Clavo portrayed sex and love as a power struggle in her experimental film “La Lucha” – with subtly blurred images and an impressive sound-scape.
The special jury award went to “Cora’s memoir – the rose” for the fearless and fun depiction of a very personal erotic memory of the film’s director who also starred in her movie. In an ageist society the film shows that a pleasurable and joyful sex life for women does exist for women who are aged 50 plus.
Before we set off to the cinema for the screening of the films and the award ceremony, I threw a mini party for all the winners and their partners and the girls had their make-up done by a pro. I like the icing on the cake and the cherry on top, so I decided last minute that I would hire a stretch limo for the girls as a surprise and take them around Berlin and to the cinema in style.
It was such an amazing feeling when we got into the limo to drink champagne and toast each other – a spirit of sisterhood and women getting together to celebrate their sexuality and sharing their vision with the world rather than hiding away. I hope that for the winners as well as me this will be a night to remember.
It was a fantastic buzz when we arrived at the cinema there was so many people and so much press everywhere – but it stressed me a bit that there were so many cameras. This was a very personal event for me and I wanted the people who bought tickets and the filmmakers themselves to enjoy it in a relaxed manner…I did not know who most of the cameras belonged to and was worried that people will perceive the event as a media circus when it was meant as a revolutionary grass roots event celebrating and supporting new female talent. It was bad enough that due to a legal battle with a German magazine that had copyrighted the term “Joy” I had to rename my award into the “Petra Joy Award” which drew more attention to me than I am comfortable with. I did this competition so that the focus is on new emerging talent. It is about the joy of giving , passing something on to other women rather than just publishing my very own vision over and over again.
To me this evening was the highlight of my ‘career’ as an erotic filmmaker. Five years ago I set out to make my first film with a bunch of friends and one camera in my bedroom – a few award-winning films, one book, film compilation, documentary and many workshops later I am finally able to pass the batton on to the next generation of female erotic filmmakers. I am really proud that I was able to inspire these women and hope to be a catalyst for many more films that are being made. It is a great feeling that the genre ‘porn for women’ will continue to exist in Europe – even if I never did never shoot another film. We have done it – women are finding their visual language and expressing all their different fantasies on film. I am so glad I made my dreams come true and hope many women will do the same. Walt Disney used to say: “If you can dream it, you can do it!”; I say: “If you can dream it, you can shoot it!”.
All winning films will be published on my forthcoming compilation “Her Porn, volume2”. Out in Spring 2010. You can read more about the winners and their films, as well as viewing clips of the winners, at www.joyawards.com
PS: After I said at the event that I now want to focus on another matter close to me heart: the environment, rather than just and exclusively on ‘porn for women’, the rumour mill went into overdrive that this was my good-bye and I will never ever shoot another erotic film. This is not true. I would love to shoot another erotic film and hope to be able to finance it. But there are so many other talented women creating porn for women right now that it is OK for me to diversify which missions I use my talents for!
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank all submitting filmmakers, my sponsor pjur and the pornfilmfest Berlin for being our host.