kristie


New FemDom Indie Film

Artvamp has just acquired rights to do a film adaptation of the book Finding Love Through Female Domination, by Renee Lane!

femdom

THE BOOK

Brilliant, crazy, intense, and a must have for anyone who is genuinely kinky. It’s like reading “Venus in Furs” but as told from Wanda’s perspective. (Amazon.com Review)


Finding Love Through Female Domination is an intimate and exciting, if in places darkly spellbinding, portrait of an couple exploring the outer boundaries of a femdom relationship. (Goodreads Review)


Dominatrix Renee Lane and her submissive husband live in Memphis, Tennessee, disguised as an average married couple. In private life, they are mistress and slave. For the last ten years, Ms. Renee has employed erotic S&M, mind control, and brainwashing techniques to forge an intimate and loving bond with her submissive partner. They consider themselves explorers of the boundaries of consensual female domination. Ms. Renee’s intense and radical approach to their relationship will challenge the reader who merely dabbles in BDSM.

The book is a collection of e-mails between Renee and a close friend, as well as Butler’s journal detailing his ever deepening submission to his true love. We follow the story as Renee continually challenges him to give up control and abandon his own agency. All the while she urged on by her lover and confidant, Heather, who acts as both observer and accomplice to his total enslavement.  

Make no mistake, this is a love story.  A story of unrelenting faith, trust, and devotion, and a couple’s willingness to cross boundaries and take things to the limit together in their own special world.  Mind-bendingly erotic, and heart-wrenchingly romantic.  An answer to the misconceptions of BDSM and Total Power Exchange portrayed in popular media.

THE FILM

As the film opens, Butler, having just gotten off the phone with his Mistress, has made the critical misstep of announcing that he would crawl there on his hands and knees just to see her for a few moments.  Renee cheerfully accepts the offer and he knows that he has no choice but to make good on the promise. We watch as he comically struggles to avoid the attention of passersby, pretending to look for lost objects while he makes his way, scuttling several blocks from his condo to her driveway. As he arrives he’s greeted with laugher and mocking from Heather.  It’s his first introduction to Renee’s best friend, who is endlessly amused at his humiliation, but skeptical about his willingness to go further.   

This is just the beginning. In increasingly devious and carefully conceived steps, Renee begins stripping Butler of his autonomy as he pines to live with her and eventually marry her.  The more cruel she becomes, the more cemented his love and devotion. But the plan is not without snags.  Renee pushes too far too fast and Butler finds himself lost in the vanilla world once again, only to come crawling back, begging for enslavement. The idea of a woman treating him as an equal leaves him bored and disenchanted. Both realize that his escape is unthinkable, and that neither of them want to stop the games of torture, humiliation, and degradation that have become a way of life. 

The viewer watches as his mind is broken again and again. Girlfriend Heather is surprised and impressed with the spectacle and begins taking more of an active role in his demise, while pulling ideas for the training of her own slave, Suzy. Cleverly Renee pushes Butler to points of objection and then tears down his resistance with such brutal persistence that the viewer wonders where it will all end. Using sexuality, chastity, dehumanization, brainwashing, and creative forms of punitive torment, she takes over his entire existence. He couldn’t be more satisfied with the arrangement, craving her diabolical sadism and relenting to her tyranny with religious ecstasy. He is, in fact, introduced to her coven of similarly-minded women in a series of rituals befitting a secret society.

Eventually, it’s not enough that he is a mere slave in private. The time comes when Renee makes it clear that she wants the outside world to perceive him as powerless and pathetic as well. She parades him on holiday as her manservant, loaning him out to be used and looked down upon by others.

Fearing stagnation, though, Renee shares her idea for Butler’s most extreme test yet with Heather. It will prove to all of them, beyond any doubt, that he belongs to her forever. Their bond is unbreakable. Like a man forsaken by his god, we follow Butler’s greatest challenge and witness the kind of love and sacrifice rarely shared between partners.

WHY SUPPORT THIS FILM?

In July 2019, Director Viola Voltairine met with Naomi McDougall Jones. As a women filmmakers, it had become clear to both of them that there are systemic obstacles in place to prevent us from being as successful and prolific as men in the movie industry. Naomi put the numbers together to prove this point in her above TED talk. PLEASE WATCH IT!

In looking at the facts, one thing becomes painfully clear: Women are as talented and capable as men in this business (50% of film school graduates are women), but we get only a small fraction of the financial support and promotion within the industry (only 8% of larger budget features are made by women). Look at a giant like Paramount Pictures.  In 2018 there were ZERO female directors included on their roster of new releases! ZERO! NONE!

Because of this bias, MOST of the movies audiences are exposed are made from a limited male-centric perspective! It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that perspective. It’s just the only one we get to see! As Naomi asks, wouldn’t you like to experience other perspectives on the screen? To have conventions challenged and learn other points of view? 

What Viola didn’t know before talking with Naomi is that movies made by and about women MAKE MORE MONEY than other kinds of films. Investors have much more chance of recouping their investments when women are the writers, directors and producers. The numbers show that we’re just better at this. And we have an underserved audience who wants to see what we produce.

You can personally benefit from investing in movies made by women!  You’ll make a profit and help change the industry!

On top of that, the way that BDSM and D/s relationships are portrayed in the mainstream is terribly skewed, inaccurate, and male-fantasy centered. The type of Dominatrices usually portrayed are Pros, and though it’s important to see positive depictions of women in sex work, there’s a whole culture of lifestyle FemDoms – women who Dominate men for pleasure rather than cash – that is virtually ignored. And Domination is typically shown in a comic context – woman exerting power over men becomes a joke. It’s uncomfortable for some mainstream audiences, simply because they are not used to it. 

On the other hand, obviously abusive and non-consensual heterosexual relationships are held up as examples of D/s in stories like 50 Shades. While only a fantasy – and everyone is, of course, entitled to their fantasies – the fact that this is the go-to example of the BDSM lifestyle only reinforces the cultural norm of male power and control in an already male dominated society.

Where are the powerful, erotic, moving stories of real Female Led D/s relationships?  

They are practically non-existent!

You can help change that. 

Support FemDoms telling our own stories from our perspective!

WHAT WE CURRENTLY NEED

  • Contributors – small donations to the preproduction fund to pay the casting agent and screenwriter.  $20,000 needed. Contributors will get perks such as signed copies of the book and access to early clips from the film, behind the scenes footage, as well as a thank you in the credits.
  • Production Partners/Executive Producers – investors in the film who will own a large portion of the profits and help promote the movie through funding, connections, influence or expertise.
  • Product Placement Sponsorship – have a product you want to sell to our film’s audience?  We will work with sponsors to place it prominently in the film, and include mention and links in co-promotions.
  • Actors and extras – want to be seen in the first real lifestyle FemDom movie in recent memory? Audition for a role!

To be a part of this project in one or more of the above ways, please contact Director Viola Voltairine at viola.voltairine@gmail.com.


Women of Internet Video

“Obscenity is our name for the uneasiness which upsets the physical state associated with self-possession, with the possession of a recognized and stable individuality.” Georges Bataille

Yesterday I was asked to present some work and write a little something for an event at Ludwig in Berlin called Pixelspace: The Women of Internet Video, hosted by Ceven Knowles (who you may remember as a performer and producer in my film and web project Other People’s Mirrors. I thought it would be nice to share it here. Below is the short essay I wrote with reference videos.

I was born into video. My parents did video production and even at age 14 and 15, my friend Ceven and I would borrow my dad’s analog video camera and do performances. Fast-forward 15 years from that.  It was 1998 and I was in a web art class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and instructor Jon Cates brought up a website called anacam.com. It inspired me to take on a whole new direction.

Ana Voog

I already fancied myself a filmmaker, and was deeply rooted in the long history of women in video art as well. Cosey Fanni Tutti’s recent interview in the Guardian brought to mind the women performers who inspired me (from Carolee Schneeman to Lung Leg). In some ways I relived the same stories in my own way.

By the mid-70s, their performances often involved nudity, live sex acts and bodily fluids: crowds of entranced children were noticeable by their absence. Tutti thinks her increasing fascination with and involvement in the world of pornography had something to do with it. She’d been including images from porn magazines in collages, she says. “I just thought: ‘It’s a bit rotten using them like this.’ I’d sooner get in there and do it myself, so I know the background behind it and how it’s made. And then, once you enter that world, things do change, they get less playful.”

But anacam was a new iteration – this live performance that could be seen by anyone with a computer anywhere in the world, and I would never even have to see their faces. I didn’t have to edit anything or send it to galleries to be accepted or rejected. I was an artist who was all about subverting the art business. And I was an actor by necessity – as a survival mechanism having come from abuse. Plus, when you can’t find an actor willing to pull off the crazy shit you want to see, you just end up doing it yourself. On web cam I could be as graphic as I wanted to be and no one could touch me. My sexuality could be both public and safe. As a filmmaker too, it allowed for multiple layers of narrative – the live “making of” performance as a companion to the film itself. Not only live interactivity with an audience, but the blurring of reality and fantasy.

As a woman in art (and especially in film) there has always been this sense that you have to work harder to be seen. And throughout the history of women in video art, you will find this common theme. This is my body – my corporeal existence. SEE ME!!! I am here. Video has always been a kind of safe space for women to be obscene. To playfully poke porn in the eye by taking it to weird extremes that make you say, “what did I just see?” To make the jerk-off material of the male gaze turn weird and confusing. The web made that anonymity and the potential for creating sexy dissonance even richer. The web became porn’s favorite domain after all.

Echo Transgression

The web also became the ideal place for creating a Bowie-esque collection of identities. One of my web personas was Echo, named after the mythological character who only wanted Narcissus to see her, to hear her. But he was too busy looking at himself. One of my web sites was called Objectifyme.com. Again that theme: LOOK AT ME!!! SEE ME!!! It’s a command. Make me a symbol, but let me be recognized.

Two women have stood out to me as having picked up the mantle in this regard. Showry who swims deep in the physicality of performance that is equally sexy and gross. She’s successfully takes obscenity to the absurd extreme.

And then there’s Poppy.

If YouTube were alcohol, Poppy would be 200 proof. So pure, refined, distilled down to the essence. She is entirely new but also the Max Headroom of millennials – the mirror of celebrity in the Internet age. She uses sexuality without even showing cleavage, without ever shaking her ass. She’s the nerd boy’s cute, virginal, kawaii fantasy.

She is a robot. An inevitable offspring of Ana Voog’s Mother of the Future Robots. Not only has she commanded, “Objectify Me!” But she’s taken it further. She has removed all but a few hints of personality to become whoever you want her to be. Just her, pretending intimacy, talking to you directly, but remaining untouchable against a clean plain white backdrop. And yet she’s still able to accomplish that one important thing: she makes the viewer, the consumer, ask, “What the fuck did I just watch?” She’s also adds the intrigue of Illuminati symbolism, and has repurposed every Internet video trope in existence. She is the perfect smirking, winking, pretty container of capitalism’s last gasps.

And that’s where we’re headed. When something that was an outlaw land of chaos starts to form its very own themes, tropes, even genres – it’s then that the artists really start to play. To use it as a medium.

Take for example the make-up tutorial, so ubiquitous on women’s YouTube channels. What happens when that is seen by a four-year-old girl and she begins to interpret it and create with it in her own manner, as my daughter Mun has done? The new “norms” now become something to bend and shape and subvert. What becomes hegemony must always be flipped, twisted, and made new.

On that note, I’ll leave this with my last thought. I have been seen enough. As an older woman I’ve had enough of being seen. I’m refocusing myself on writing, producing and filmmaking. For some, continuing to be seen is important and even revolutionary as they leave youth behind and offer something the young women can’t even imagine yet. As women, we all find out how much of the audience turns away once we pass a certain stage in life. To continue to command being seen after that is brilliant and inspiring.

But for me, I’m content to step down and let the next wave have this fractured faceted spotlight. For as I’ve always said – and this Cronenbergian refrain has been a motto of my art practice for so long –

“long live the new flesh.”

-Kristie Alshaibi