Tag Archives: sexy scissors

Circulation and Engagement


production still, Death Work (2013), Oakland Cemetary in Carbondale, IL

October has been a very busy month for getting work done and for good news! There have been some recent screenings and much visibility gained for the Racial Justice Community Coalition, a social movement that has emerged from the community screenings of 778 Bullets (2011). Before we continue the discussion about community engagement, my most recent shorts, Death Work (2013) and Sexy Scissors (2012), have been finding their way to audiences around the globe.

Death Work (2013) has recently premiered at the Transient Visions: Festival of the Moving Image in Johnson City, NY, at the Spool Contemporary Art Center, an artist-run alternative space.  Death Work (2013) addresses the invisible labor of those who dig graves and how history flows through the practices of burring the dead. In a few weeks, the short will have its international premiere at Nuremberg International Short Film Festival in Germany.

Sexy Scissors (2012) has recently screened at the OffShoot Film Festival and Phenom Film Festival where the documentary was nominated for best short. Sexy Scissors (2012) documents a “special” men’s hair cutting salon in Austin, TX, exploring the funky vortex of sex, power, masculinity and the endless journey to get the perfect haircut. The short will soon have its international premiere at the South West London International Film Festival in the UK.

The Rural Civil Rights Project and 778 Bullets (2011) continue to gain a great deal of support from the local community. I was recently invited by the City of Carbondale’s Human Relations Commission to screen 778 Bullets (2011) as a way to raise discussion about local tensions around issues of race. The students from my graduate course, Documentary and Critical Practices, attended the public meeting and contributed to the discussion. The film was met with enthusiastic reception. Afterwards the graduate class discussed nontraditional distribution and community engagement.

Finally, the Racial Justice Community Coalition and the anniversary of the shootout between black panthers and police made the local news! This is a particularly big deal because the newscast was broadcast across a conservative Southern Illinois. Here is what emerged:

Carbondale police shootout with Black Panthers 43 years ago


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This is how Sexy Scissors programs…

Phenom programing

Issues of programing and how a film is placed among others in a festival is of great interest to me. One day I would like to interview festivals programmers in order to write an article about the process of festival selection and curation. I am curious if programing concerns effects final selections, how programmers place those odd but awesome selections that seems to fit no where and the many other issues about curation in the festival environment. These question have come up for me as I have sent out many different kinds of documentaries in the past five years and find myself fascinated with the process of anticipating programing goals based on a festivals website. Let’s face it, this process is expensive and the more accurate my read on where my film will screen, the more seed money I have for my next project. What I find myself doing, not in any conscious way, is staring at the photos of past festivals asking myself, would this group of festival organizers program a documentary about a shoot out of a black panther residence in the Midwest during 1970? Would these folks be offended by the half-dressed ladies in a haircutting salon? Have they programed anything like this in the past? Is this audience going to find interest in and maybe solidarity with the missing mexican women on the screen?  If the answer is yes, how in the world will they frame, program and promote this work in the context of the festival?

I shot Sexy Scissors many years back and recently finished it to send out to festivals. Today, I just got the programing book for an upcoming festival screening, it seems we are sandwiched between a feature documentary about regulations in the porn industry and a comedy about breasts…its going to be a good one!

Upcoming Screenings for Sexy Scissors:

Phenom Film Festival on September 20th and nominated for best documentary short

Offshoot Film Festival on October 3rd

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