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February 12, 2016

Thanks to Chaturbate, 'Cam Girlz' Now Available Free

CYBERSPACE—A little over a year ago, at the 2015 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, documentary filmmaker Sean Dunne unveiled his movie Cam Girlz at a screening sponsored by live cam site Chaturbate.com. The documentarian, whose other works include Oxyana (2013) and American Juggalo (2011), then proceeded to distribute the movie himself, debuting it on Valentine’s Day in 2015 via paid views on Vimeo, as well as the occasional public screening. And today, thanks again to Chaturbate, Cam Girlz is going to find a much wider audience because the screenings will now be totally free of charge. To see the movie, go to CamGirlzDoc.com. “It was always the intention to get it out for free,” Dunne said. “I know we can reach many more people that way. iTunes wouldn’t touch this, Netflix wouldn’t touch this—god forbid one of these would support a film that actually shows sex workers in a positive light.” Due to that positive light, Dunne has gained a lot of support from his subjects. “We’ve seen such love from the whole industry and camming community that we wanted to expand that dialog to people who have never heard of camming. So I think the way to do this is to get something like this out there for free.” Though Dunne was eager to get the film out to the widest audience, first he had to pay back his investors. So when reps from Chaturbate came to Dunne and said, “We’ll make you square with your investors, and let’s get it out there,” the director was delighted. “It’s just incredibly generous and cool of them and I think they understand, having seen the film, the type of impact that this can have on people’s opinions toward sex workers in general.” Now, Dunne said, people “who can’t plunk down three to five dollars” will be able to see the movie. “I think it’s really cool, and it’ll get a global dialog about sex work going.” The debate over sex work has been particularly lively the past year or so, given several factors, including Amnesty International’s decision to support the decriminalization of sex work. And there was also another film that garnered buzz around the same time as Cam Girlz. The documentary Hot Girls Wanted, however, took a different approach to its subjects, and found far less support from the adult entertainment industry. Dunne declined to dish about Hot Girls Wanted at length, but he did allow, “I found it kind of boring. I felt it was doing a disservice to documentaries in general by condescending to the audience and holding their hands through an experience. I tend to try to make films that more immerse you in an experience and let you draw your own conclusions.” Calling himself a fan of Ross McElwee, Les Blank, the Maysles brothers and D.A. Pennebaker—“those guys from back then”—he said he takes more of “an old-school angle, where it’s not so much making a documentary about something but making a documentary that is something.” When asked what surprised him most about his subjects in Cam Girlz, Dunne mused, “I think I expected to make a film that was a lot louder and more boisterous, flamboyant, and there’s just such a level of rawness and realness to each one, and her performance and her life, that kind of shocked me. It was less cartoonishy than I assumed. The film takes on a more restrained mood because of that, and I think it worked out for the better.” And many of the models he’s met since making the movie seem to appreciate the final outcome. “You know what’s been a really cool offshoot of this? I’ve gotten, through some of the screenings we’ve done, to be around other cam girls and their boyfriends and even their parents, and they say this is the film they use to help people understand what they do. And that makes me really happy.” So, what’s next for Dunne, now that he’s releasing Cam Girlz out into the world? “We just put out a film where we went to a Donald Trump rally and filmed with our cell phones and that’s called Trump Rally and that’s on our website [VeryApe.tv] for free as well. And our next project is going to kind of be a bigger, artsier documentary about psychedelic medicines, like mushrooms and LSD.” Turns out there’s some overlap between his last big subject and his next. Some of the cam girls had a lot to say on a variety of subjects. “We learned a lot from them, especially from the girls featured at the end of the film, about psychedelics and spirituality and life,” Dunne explained. “I think that’s what attracted me to the cam girls in the first place—there was something about the rebel spirit of these ladies that I just couldn’t resist, and it comes in all different shapes and sizes, as you see in the movie, and everyone has their own version of it.” Like true rebels, cam girls give “a fuck you to society,” Dunne said. “I love that so much about them. And I hope I honored them and I hope people want to see this. And more importantly I hope once you finish watching this, I hope you want to share it with someone. It’s a cool little film.” To read a review of the film posted when it debuted at AEE, click here.

 
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