Cinematographer-director Christina Voros, whose alma matters are Harvard and NYU's Tisch Scool, debuted as a director with 2008's "The Ladies," which won 15 festival Grand Jury prizes. Her film "Kink" is the latest of many collaborations with James Franco; others include "As I Lay Dying," "Child of God," "Sal," and "The Broken Tower." Of their partnership she says, "Its safe to say I've learned as much from our collaboration over the years as I have from my formal training in film school."
What it's about: "'Kink' is a peek behind the curtain of the fetish empire of kink.com, the Internet’s largest producer of BDSM content."
What it's really about: "In a particularly obscure corner of an industry that operates largely out of public view, the directors at kink.com spend their 9 to 5 works week creating sexual fantasies. In 'kink', we discover not only a fascinating and often misunderstood subculture, but also, in a career far from the mainstream, a group of intelligent, charismatic, and driven people who really, truly love what they do."
Director Voros, on the film's biggest challenges: "I think with any documentary one must resist the urge to impose your own story and allow the material to tell itself. But with this film in particular I really had to work to check my assumptions at the door and to admit to myself that everything I knew about the industry was only what I’d seen in films. I’d never been on the inside and I had no idea what I was going to find. So I had to overcome a significant amount of fear, both in terms of free falling in to a world that was so outside the boundaries of familiarity, and trusting that I would land on my feet, but also in terms of what making this film and shedding light on this subject might mean for me personally, as a filmmaker and as a woman."
On her hopes for Sundance: "I want to start a dialogue. Whether you love porn or loathe it, consume or condemn it, it undeniably inhabits a powerful place in our culture. And it seems curious to me that such a thriving, billion dollar industry should remain so widely unexamined. Pornography is powerful, and much of that power lies in the illusion that the content is real. But it is not. It’s a fantasy. But the people who make it are real. That counterpoint is worth examining. It s only through a deeper understanding of the industry and the demand that it caters to that we can truly understand its impact on our world."
Inspirations for the film: "The films of the Maysle brothers inspire me every time a pick up a camera, but specifically though, not really. I actually made a point NOT to see any films in the sex documentary canon."
What's next: "I’d like to say some time off but it doesn't seem to be in the cards. James and I have another doc in post-production aiming for a premiere this spring. My first feature script is in development and should be in prep by the fall. Between now and then we’ll probably be shooting something else, and I’m currently working on my first novel. It’s a really exciting time."
Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.
Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on January 17 for the latest profiles.