“We love the filmmakers because without them we’d all just be here drinking.” So noted CineKink Film Festival founder Lisa Vandever after calling for a round of applause at this year’s midtown kickoff at the Taj Lounge, which saw burlesque performances — by Leta Le Noir, Sweet Lorraine and “N — “The ONLY Letter in Burlesque” followed by a small shorts program. With films containing a slick music video/Calvin Klein commercial aesthetic (Roy Raz’s “The Lady Is Dead” from Israel), to scenes of anatomical pottery (Debi Oulu’s “My Erotic Video Art,” another flick from Israel — what’s up with the Israelis?) to visuals as predictable as its title (“Love Hotel” from its better-named, Spanish director Erika Lust) the diversity on display served as a teaser, naturally, to the eclectic main event. And then there was my evening favorite from the good ole U.S.A. Toby Fell-Holden’s sweetly hilarious “Shake It” takes masks and half-naked men to Muppet silliness proportions. All this and a fundraising raffle with prizes including stainless steel toys — who could ask for anything more?
To read the rest of my rundown visit Filmmaker magazine.