Why are we putting together this documentary?
For as long as we can remember, sex worker activists have been boldly organizing against the ever present escalations to criminalize sex workers, trafficked people, and other marginalized communities. Under The Red Umbrella is a study of radical resilience across intersections, shining a spotlight on the dire ramifications of legislation created to disappear the sex work community, most recently through FOSTA-SESTA—as well as showcasing the sex worerk activists that continue to organize and resist injustice.
This project takes a critical look at sex work through the eyes of sex workers as they share their experiences and unpack the impact of stigma, criminalization, and recent legislation which further endangers lives and threatens free speech online. An honest account of sex work and its rich history in our society, exploring the past fifty years of the sex worker rights movement and celebrating a community that has and always will persist and prevail.
We believe that for a project about sex work to be successful, it must adhere to a well-known slogan: “Nothing about us without us.” Our team is comprised of current sex workers, former sex workers, and allies. We are working together to present a critical look at erotic labor from the perspective of erotic laborers and activists; honor the lives and work of sex worker activists; document, preserve, and celebrate the rich history of sex work; and manifest lasting change in society.
BAMBI KATSURA ▸ Director/Producer
Bambi Katsura is a Japanese American filmmaker and a former sex worker. She delights in pushing boundaries, exploring social justice themes, and creating inclusive works that challenge viewers and inspire change. In productions, she works to foster community and loves collaborating with fellow oddballs .
Her work has been featured around the world in festivals including Frameline, Fringe!, the Toronto Queer Film Festival, and Hump!. Under the Red Umbrella is her first feature-length documentary.
Dahlia Snow has been a Dominatrix and sex worker in the Bay Area for about 8 Years. Dahlia is a skilled health educator focusing on vulva and vaginal health and has experience working in content marketing and film. She spends a lot of her time hanging out with her cat Zoey and eating as much good food as she can.
Lina is a video content producer and a holistic health practitioner in NYC. She is also a competitive amateur boxer who has qualified for the 2019 Olympic tryouts. She is part of Happy Monday Films and offers holistic health consultations on her website.
GRACE VAN NESS ▸ Editor
Grace Van Ness is a documentary video editor and motion graphics designer with a special interest in intimately-told, social justice-oriented storytelling—particularly as it relates to sex worker rights activism and queer identity. Her work has been featured at film festivals across the world, including La Fête du Slip, the Toronto International Porn Festival, and Cinekink NYC. Grace’s experimental, non-fiction video work has appeared in the SOMArts exhibition, We’re Still Working: The Art of Sex Work, as well as Témoigner pour agir, a project that seeks to “use public testimonial as a social and cultural intervention strategy.” She is also the co-founder of Failed Films, an NSFW art and film event series aimed at supporting local artists with a non-traditional approach. Grace attended the Salt Institute, the Duke Center for Documentary Studies, and the Bay Area Video Coalition, where she studied audio and visual storytelling, creative nonfiction writing, and animation.
STEFANO GONZALEZ ▸ Executive Producer
Stefano Gonzalez is a trans Latinx producer originally from New York, where he taught video production to high school students. After moving to the Bay Area, Stefano completed his MFA in Motion Pictures & Television and has since helped garner numerous awards at film festivals. His credits also include writer, director, actor, voice actor, and assistant director. His co-produced short Do They Fit? was an official selection of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. In late 2016, Stefano founded Transgress Studios LLC, a film and video production company designed to transcend repetitive narratives and uncover stories untold.
TIFFANY FISHER-LOVE ▸ Producer
Tiffany Fisher-Love is a queer Brooklyn-based producer. Current projects include United Skates (HBO premiere Feb 2019) and on-staff Production Coordinator for Brut, Inc., the third-largest social media producer in the world. She has been working in production for 10+ years, including work on Broadway Across America, Van Warped Tour, and Opera Ireland. Tiffany also spent the last four years working in the world of tech and social media at Upworthy, Harmony Labs, Meme Factory, and Thrillist. She is the Managing Directing of New York Madness Production company in NYC and holds the Guiness World Record as Youngest Female Technical Director in Outdoor Theatre History.
Mineko Brand has a background in Journalism and Anthropology, and has been working in various facets of video production since 2011. She has worked with public media entities such as SF Public Press, Al Jazeera, and Amnesty International and specializes in creative short-form video, documentary and interviews. Her latest project is a feature length documentary about avant-garde choreographer and artist, Ed Mock. Unstoppable Feat; the dances of Ed Mock which recently screened at Frameline.
with help from
We could not have come so far without the invaluable contributions these folks have made. Their help has been invaluable.