A new festival in the fair city of film will be hosting a well-attended launch event in A4 Sounds this Saturday. The Red Umbrella Film Festival, organised by former and current sex workers, will be hosting its debut at the studio space on January 21st, and the event has already sold out. We love to see a wider selection and wider variety of voices in Dublin’s film festivals, so we’re glad to see it and will be keeping eyes open for further screenings from the Red Umbrella Film Festival.
The red umbrella has been a global symbol of sex workers’ solidarity since being used for the first time in 2001 in Venice during the 49th Art Biennale. It’s intrinsically tied to the arts therefore, making a film festival a perfect platform for sex workers to advocate and express on their own behalf. Acclaimed Irish films like Tara O’Callaghan’s Call Me Mommy demonstrate the ability of film to strip away assumptions, stigma and ignorance and provide a platform for the people behind them to share their own insights and experiences.
The film festival aims to educate, giving voice to sex worker issues in Ireland and internationally through the medium of film. Their goal is to tackle stigmas and shame around sex work and to present positive cultural depictions of sex workers. Operating on the principle that sex worker rights, trans rights, housing rights, racial and disability justice are interconnected issues that need to be addressed together, it sounds like an example of intersectional cinema that makes a welcome addition to Dublin’s film calendar.
The Red Umbrella Film Festival will include four short films, a feature as well as food, panel discussion and music to close, providing a varied programme in one day from 3pm onwards.