Review: ‘Spill Your Kinky’

abstract background of chaotic spreading paints across surface

Spill Your Kinky‘ was my first experience of attending SQIFF (Scottish Queer International Film Festival).  I’m not sure what I was expecting going into a film event titled ‘Spill your kinky‘, but my expectations were both exceeded and subverted. With a diverse and varied line-up, this series of short films expanded and challenged conventional ideas of ‘kink’.

The short films covered topics such as ecosexuality, domination, sex work, transspeciesism, and trans reproduction.  While some of the films were hilarious, others presented nuanced and poignant depictions of topics that are often heavy and difficult to bring to an audience. 

Oscar particularly stood out to me: Oscar, who is thirty years old, feels like a dog in the body of a human being which complicates things when his mother tries to introduce him to her partner. The film compares trans speciesism to the experience of trans people, and although this could be seen as controversial by some, the topic was dealt with in a delicate and respectful way. Rather than dwelling on this comparison, the film focuses on the mother’s experience of coming to terms with her son’s identity, and shows some particularly poignant scenes of joy shared between the two.

My personal favourite would have to be Another Beautiful Creature. Part documentary and part queer porn, the film captures what it’s like to be a trans parent through a trans/non-binary couple’s experience of pregnancy. The actors discuss topics such as the gender dysphoria that can come with being pregnant, but also cover the importance of celebrating this bodily transformation. While I was not completely prepared for seeing porn on the big screen, the combination of interviews and intimate scenes skillfully captured a realistic depiction of what sex can look and feel like.  Rarely in porn do we see depictions of queer, trans or non-binary sex, let alone depictions of sex that show the funny moments, the communication, the aftercare and of course the lube! And while I never thought I would be so comfortable watching porn in a room full of strangers, the film transcended the boundaries between porn and film, and provided a refreshing alternative to what the porn industry could look like. 

However, perhaps the most impressive thing about the screening was the accessibility measures put in place to ensure that the festival was as inclusive and accessible as possible. The films were introduced by the curators in sign language, which was interpreted and also captioned live. While some argue that making events accessible can be too hard, SQIFF is a prime example of how to go above and beyond to ensure a space caters to all audiences. 

In our current heteronormative society depictions of sexual relations which are not normative, heterosexual, and monogamous rarely get to see the inside of a cinema. So, it was refreshing to be in a room with people of all different sexual orientations and gender identities watching films that represented the diversity of our experiences. 

[Meli Vasiloudes Bayada – she/her]

[Photo credits: Dids]

About SQIFF: SQIFF (Scottish Queer International Film Festival) was formed with the aim of adding to the exciting and growing amount of queer film stuff happening around Scotland. Since 2015, we have held an annual festival in Glasgow alongside providing year round events across various locations. Our goal is to get people watching, talking about, and making more queer films. We want to screen movies that people might not otherwise get a chance to see and to create inspiring and informative events alongside challenging inequality and barriers to accessing the arts. For more info go to http://www.sqiff.org

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