2023 Outfest Fusion Festival
March 23, 2023
This heady sex positive exploration of intimacy, self fulfilment and the pursuit of pleasure is an embodiment of queer magic via an interweave of sex-positive rituals. Featuring music by Dorian Wood and Thor Harris.
Hi Dorian, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with The New Current, how has everything been going?
Wonderful, thanks! Some diarrhoea but also very happy it’s not raining today.
As a MacDowell and Loghaven Fellow, how much have these fellowships helped you on your creative filmmaking journey?
I’ve gone into these fellowship opportunities mostly with music-based projects. Canto de Todes is a 12-hour chamber music/installation project I recently completed at both MacDowell and Loghaven, but as with most of my projects, music, film and performance each play essential roles. I’m grateful to have several médiums to work with and to play dress-up with.
You had an amazing 2022 debuting Lhasa at Madrid’s Festival Internacional de Arte Sacro, what was the experience like for you being able to showcase your performance at such an important festival?
I was honoured to get to perform the songs of the great Lhasa and to also broaden exposure of her powerful legacy. This was the second time I’d performed at Arte Sacro. The first time was with XAVELA LUX AETERNA, my tribute project to Chavela Vargas. Each of these magnificent artists deserves to have their work heard and loved by everyone, and I’m honoured that I’ve gotten to share their legacies with the world.
What was it about Lhasa De Sela, an artist who had such a unique and beautiful voice, that inspired you to créate this performance? (Lhasa is one of my favourite artists and I currently have El Árbol del Olvido as I am writing these questions)
Lhasa’s voice has certainly been influential on my own. She weaved sensuality, tenderness and fire so gorgeously, in ways I had not heard before, and I have not heard since. I got to meet her once after an in-store performance she did in L.A. She was incredibly sweet and also funny.
What does it mean to you to be able to have your World Premiere of The angel at the 2023 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival?
I’m delighted to finally be able to premiere it! It’s been quite a process to find a festival willing to screen it. Fusion previously premiered another short of mine that I directed with Graham Kolbeins, called "PAISA". I’m happy they’re premiering "The angel".
How essential are festivals like Fusion in creating an important platform for independent voices like yours in film?
As grateful as I am for the opportunity to premiere work at Fusion, I also deeply resent the idea that we need a specific festival to other BIPOC people within the queer community. I feel that our voices need to be raised at Outfest proper and all other festivals and institutions. To create a separate space for us feels weirdly demeaning, regardless of the good intentions.
Take me through how The angel came about, when did you know you wanted to collaborate with Thor Harris on this project?
Thor approached me on Twitter a couple years ago, wanting to collaborate with me. I had been a fan of his for a while, so it was a happy shock. I told him that whatever we did together, it needed to be very queer. He was into it. So we recorded an album long-distance called "You are clearly in perversión". The first song we did was The angel. I recorded a synth foundation, he sent back a sea of instruments he recorded himself, and we back-and-forth until it was done. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a visual work to accompany the song, and I got the idea to post on social media an open call to queer, transgender and gender-nonconforming fam in L.A. to contribute sex-positive rituals that would balance the aggro energy of the song. There was so much joy and love that went into the making of the film, just as much as into the song.
As a multidisciplinary artist how much does you own life and experience inspire the work you create?
It’s the totality of it. Shake me down to my core and you’ll find I’m just tits and truth.
"We shouldn’t have to continuously endure this battle for our right to exist, and the world needs to know this and accept this."
Do you think filmmakers need to continue to push the boundaries of the films they want to make?
I think filmmakers should do whatever they want. There’s room in the world for all of us, and boundaries are kept, pushed or broken based on individuality. I’m here to champion all of it.
If you could offer 3 tips or advice to fellow filmmakers what would they be?
Do what you love. Do it with people who love you and whom you love back. Document your process as much as possible.
And finally, what message do you hope your audiences will take away from The angel?
I made a film with my friends that is brimming with love, but "The angel" also wants to fuck shit up. I’m done with normalising this fight for our own existence. We shouldn’t have to continuously endure this battle for our right to exist, and the world needs to know this and accept this. If someone feels inspired afterwards to find a transphobic politician and kick him hard in the face, that’s the standing ovation I crave.