The 2015 San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Fest

Sex Work is not Trafficking

Wednesday, May 20th at 7:00 PM
Omni Commons
4799 Shattuck Ave. Oakland

Sponsored by Red Light Legal

An evening of short movies and discussion for sex workers and allies who are in the cross hairs of anti-trafficking campaigns.

Our community includes people who identify as sex workers and as trafficked persons or survivors. We are students, social workers, attorneys, journalists, filmmakers, artists, academics as well as sex workers trying to make sense of this new war against us.

This evening we will hear from diverse panelists who are committed to working together to support sex workers rights and challenge prostitution abolitionism, end demand strategies and the hypocrisies of the rescue industry.

Experts joining the discussion include Alix Lutnck RTI International researcher, focus on youth and sex trade, (recent work here), Lania Watkins from Cal-Pep, Kristina Dolgin of Red Light Legal, Carol Leigh (recent work), Kristen DiAngelo and Pearl Callahan (of American Courtesans winners of audience choice Best Feature Film of the San Francisco 2013 Festival!) as well as other experts.

Kristen DiAngelo (American Courtesans) is organizing an international Twitter event for ‘Sex Work IS NOT Trafficking’ evening on May 20th from 7pm to 10pm PST (live at Omni Commons, Oakland), tweeting live quotes from experts in sex worker rights and incorporating sex worker rights and prostitution abolitionist Twitter hashtags to address reach both audiences. Follow #sexworkerfest for updates on in this event.

Guests include representatives from Cal-Pep, Red Light Legal and more (below). Rather than a panel, speakers will provide 1-2 minute introductions, then will addresse issues along with the audience during discussion.


Lania Watkins

Lania is currently employed as a Program Supervisor and HIV test Counselor, at California Prostitutes and Education Project in Oakland, CA. Her work includes facilitating Safer Sex House Parties, Peer Education trainings, court ordered 101 Sexual Health sessions with sex workers and Street Outreach. Her passion is to educate people from all from all walks of life about HIV and safer sex.

Kristina Dolgin

Kristina Dolgin is a long-time sex worker, law school graduate, and founder of Red Light Legal. She is a former legal intern with TGI Justice Project and the Homeless Action Center, and an active Board member of the Bay Area chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and Sex Workers Outreach Project. See

Alix Lutnick

Alix is a Senior Research Scientist, Consultant, Trainer and Adjunct Faculty with research interests including the sex industry, trafficking, substance use and criminalization. Read

Kristen DiAngelo and Pearl Callahan from American Courtesans

American Courtesans addresses the stereotyping and social stigma attached to this profession and what it has cost us. Both speakers have a wide range of experience that is particularly relevant to this discussion of abuses within sex work and empowerment solutions.

“Raid” illustration by Willem Weijters from The RighT Guide


Becky’s Journey
Sine Plambech
24 min. 2014, Denmark
Beautiful Becky has attempted to travel from Benin, Nigeria twice, and voluntarily. She braves rape and starvation to cross closed borders in search of a better life as a sex worker in Italy. The film is about migration, sex work and human trafficking seen from the perspective of Becky. Becky tells her story in her own words, a fascinating alternative take on migration for the purposes of sex work that is never heard in the mainstream press.

Being a refugee is Hard
Muchaneta with SWEAT
3 min. 2010, South Africa
This first person short is one of four stories of the lives of sex workers that came out of a four day workshop held by Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Task Force in Johannesburg. Widowed Muchaneta is a refugee of the economy of her home country, where working as a secretary she still cannot earn enough to feed her children. She migrates to South Africa in hardship and learns how to make ends meet.

Anne Elizabeth Moore & Melissa Mendes
2014, US
Images from the illustrated story: “The threads that connect the sex industry to the garment industry are many… But if you look closely you can figure out how to unravel them”

Collateral Damage: Sex Workers & The Anti-Trafficking Campaigns
Carol Leigh 8 min. 2015, San Francisco
Anti-trafficking is a sacred cow, but behind this humanitarian concern is a century-old movement that historically reflects xenophobia and prostitution abolitionism. Clips from the work-in-progress

Doin’ It for Themselves: The Hunt Sisters
Feminist Whore 10:33 minutes, 2011, US
Extremely informative rant about two sisters, female scions of the uber-conservative and filthy rich Hunt family. Helen and Swanee Hunt have conservative Christian values, and more money than any ten million of us will earn in our little lifetimes… all of which they use to advance their agenda regarding the silencing and general disenfranchisement of sex workers. Spoiler alert!!: The revolution will NEVER be funded through the many foundations these two own. -LM

Intersectionality and the Mission of the Sex Worker Fest
The Sex Worker Fest is anti race, class, gender, age, ability, size and sexual identity oppression. We strive to increase the involvement of politically underrepresented sex worker communities such as trans folk, street based workers, workers of color and workers who transcend the racist, sexist, heterosexist, white-supremacist norms and standards of mainstream beauty. We push the margins of the movement into the center, working to shift paradigms in joint struggle, we cultivate leadership of sex workers that are marginalized within the sex workers movement. We highlight the artistic endeavors of workers in all aspects of the sex industry because whore culture is real, present and on a corner, in a bar, in a hotel or in a bedroom community near YOU.

The location for this event is ADA accessible. Childcare, translation and signing services are available upon request. We also ask you to assist us in making this a scent free environment (see

Email or call (925) 391-0592 to request these or other options. Also see Logistics/Accessibility.