The Second Ever London Sex Worker Film Festival: because sex workers should STILL not be dead to be on film.

SWOU is proud to present THE SECOND EVER London Sex Worker Film Festival, on Sunday 20th October, 1pm – 5pm. Our programme (below) will be bring you sex worker’s voices, struggles and experiences from Brazil to the UK, Thailand to France… and some extra surprises!

The first London Sex Worker Film festival was sold out – please book a ticket in advance to avoid disappointment! You can book tickets from our venue, the Rio Cinema in Hackney. The venue is wheelchair accessible – please see the link for more information on this, and general directions. Tickets are £10 / £8 concession.

\\ P R O G R A M M E // P R O G R A M M E // P R O G R A M M E \\ P R O G R A M M E // P R O G R A M M E \\ 

(FR 2013) dir. STRASS (French Union of Sex Workers) and SWOU: 22m.
A short film documenting the 2013 Annual Sex Workers gathering in Paris, France, and the following demonstration against criminalisation of clients and sex workers’ rights!

(Thailand 2012) dir. Empower Foundation. 15m. 
This short film made by sex workers as a part of Empower report Hit & Run exposing the impact of law and law enforcement, raids and rescues used against sex workers in Thailand and around the world.

(UK 2012) dir. Clare Havell & Vincent Lee, produced by The Sex Worker Open University. 32m. 
As UN policymakers and politicians meet in Washington for the AIDS conference, sex workers gather in Kolkata India for an alternative summit, the Sex Worker Freedom Festival. Denied entry to the conference in the USA because of their work, sex workers from Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe send a clear message; and it is not victimhood, but power that speaks, to reveal what lies behind the stigmatisation and oppressions of sex workers.

+ Short Performance


(UK, 2012) dir. Nic Mai 48m. 
NORMAL is made of the combined interviews with four young migrants, who are impersonated by actors. The similarities and differences between the characters’ life trajectories are explored by focusing on their contradictory aspirations to lead a NORMAL life. The film is also a reflection on the inherently fictional nature of any narration of the self, particularly when this happens in relation to experiences which are stigmatized as non-NORMAL. The four characters explain how they came to see their involvement in the sex industry as NORMAL and how their notion of normality evolved with their life experiences. At the same time, their life trajectories do not conform to the victim/villain stereotypical opposition which dominates current debates about sex work.

(US, 2010) dir. Rachel Malek for the FIRST Coalition 1.49m. 
Celebrating the strength and diversity of sex workers. A Public Service Announcement from FIRST.
Sex workers face extreme levels of stigma and social exclusion, often fearful of the social consequences of speaking openly about their work. When they do, they risk being stereotyped, with few people looking beyond the label of “sex worker” to see the unique lives each person leads. This video is an attempt by this experiential community to highlight the strength and diversity of those who are currently or have been engaged in sex work. They say, “We would like to thank those who participated in this video, as well as acknowledge that there were a far greater number of people who could not due to the social consequences they could face in their relationships, careers, and day to day lives.”




(Brazil, 2010) dir. Laura Murray 29m. 
Gabriela Leite is the first sex worker to run for Brazilian Congress. “A Kiss for Gabriela” tells the story of her 2010 campaign as she faces 822 opponents and challenges a male dominated political system to see if a sex worker, activist, wife, mother, and cultural icon since founding the clothing line, Daspu, can beat the odds and win the election.

+Question and Answer Session