By Lizzie Borden and Jessie Rovinelli
SO PRETTY is being released on June 12 by Sentient.Art.Film in the US. International outreach will begin in July.
EMPATHY is available to stream free on Vimeo via the filmmaker.
WORKING GIRLS is available to rent via Vimeo on Demand, for £0.79/$0.99, via the filmmaker.
The conversation between Lizzie and Jessie is so rich and generous that we’ve shared it over six pages: follow the <<back & forward>> links at the bottom of each page, or find a specific page from here.
On March 19, a stay-in-place order went into effect in California because of coronavirus. I was terrified for my stripper friends here. I’d already read dispatches from around the world and knew sex workers faced a terrible choice – to shelter or continue to work. As they organized, all I could contribute was a small act of solidarity. On March 20, I posted WORKING GIRLS – my 1986 film about women working in a brothel – free on Youtube. I posted a link on Twitter: “Stay safe, especially sex workers.” It was my prayer. A couple of weeks later, something remarkable happened.
On March 31, Screen Slate tweeted:
The article included glowing reviews of both films. The director of EMPATHY, Jessica Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli tweeted:
I was astonished. Who was this filmmaker – whose beautiful face gazed from a tiny photo on Twitter – recommending another person’s film over her/his/their own? I followed the link to EMPATHY. — Lizzie Borden
Hey Jessica, is this your preferred name? I loved EMPATHY. I loved the way it was shot and edited. I loved the extended scenes – especially the shower. I loved the way you included a slate at the end… a “performed” documentary. I want to read everything about it. Love from LA to you wherever you are social-distancing or quarantined.
Thank you, it means so much to hear it. I thought about WORKING GIRLS a lot when making it and admired your work since I was a teen. If you’re interested I can send you my second feature, which is a sort of a trans and gay utopian film called SO PRETTY.
I’d love to see SO PRETTY. I’ll send you my email. Are you in NY? LA feels more chill than what I’ve read about NY…
4 /12 Jessie
I’m in NYC, which doesn’t feel very chill at the moment. I’m just taking photos and cooking. I’m just hoping that this moment can bring something better instead of something worse. It’s been nice to be able to organize rent negotiations and strikes with tenants around me if nothing else, and it feels hopeful. And yes, I just changed my professional name to Jessica, although I might go back. I’ve changed my name with each new film and I’m trying to keep that up for a little bit. We’ll see if this one sticks. I’m still using Jessie in my day to day.
Promotional images for Empathy & Working Girls