Will Streaming Sites Save Independent Movie Culture?


Several streaming platforms in the porn industry offer desperate filmmakers, producers and festival directors a second chance during the uncertainties of the Corona crisis. The platform PinkLabel.tv shows the satirical porn documentary »The sad girls of the mountains«. A weird, politically incorrect fun, which messes with everyone, is conceptual art and yet sexy porn. Pornhub is also expanding its ambitious filmmaking activities and could become an alternative screening venue for the renowned Oldenburg Film Festival.

Currently, many nationwide media are asking the question: Will the porn industry save the film industry? The reason is that many cultural organizers, filmmakers and producers affected by closures and cancellations are receiving offers from porn streamers who are offering their infrastructure and reach to give countless projects a chance after all. Although the offer of YouPorn to the Cannes festival management may have been more of an attempt to grab headlines and worldwide free PR, other porn streamers are actually offering themselves to indie and art projects as a lifeline.

PinkLabel.tv features depressed feminists in the mountains

The movie »Die traurigen Mädchen aus den Bergen«, which won an award at the Berlin PornFilmFestival, finds a streaming platform with PinkLabel.tv, so that the satiric porn-documentary can find an audience despite the fact that the screening in cinemas was cancelled due to the corona situation.

Candy Flip and Theo Meow are the producers of the funny movie, which tells the story of four women who have retreated to a hut in the mountains to withdraw from the world. A spokesperson for the production team says: »They celebrate their sadness as an act of resistance against patriarchy and finance their reclusive livelihood with homemade porn they sell online. They donate the profits to Kurdish women’s militias so they can stock up on weapons. Just when everything seems to be going well, a visit by two Gonzo reporters threatens the fragile balance of the feminist mini utopia.«

Numerous awards – But Corona threatened the success of the movie

The unusual film was on the road to success after receiving the award. But Corona almost ruined everything for the producers. Candy Flip says: »We had arranged several screenings at festivals and cinemas, but then COVID-19 came along and everything was cancelled. So we’re glad that people can at least see the movie online now.«

The production team has high hopes for the collaboration with PinkLabel. Flip says, It’s one of our favourite platforms. They make it extremely easy and convenient for independent filmmakers like us to show our films to a wide audience.«

On PinkLabel.tv you can buy the film individually, rent it for 48 hours or watch it for free with a monthly subscription to the platform. More information about the film and a trailer can be found on PinkLabel.tv. Further information about the Pornfilmfestival Berlin can be found here.

Pornhub wants to save Germany’s Sundance

At Pornhub on the other hand, they have their eye on an entire festival. The streaming giant wants to rescue the German equivalent of the Sundance Festival, the Oldenburg Film Festival, which has been taking place for 26 years. The film festival, which has become famous for its independent programming, was supposed to take place in September and is now in trouble due to corona.

Unlike the big festivals in Berlin and Munich, the Oldenburg festival has not completely cancelled its schedule, but it has cut back considerably. A large part of the screenings will be broadcasted online.

A tempting offer: Infrastructure & Reach

Since a large part of the festival programming would thus probably be streamed unnoticed to a large extent, Pornhub considered supporting the festival and putting the enormous reach of the porn site at the service of independent film culture.

Pornhub’s VP Corey Price wrote to the organizers in Oldenburg: »We offer a completely different viewing experience that is far more immersive. [A cooperation] would also emphasize our commitment to support art and entertainment in all areas.«

Price attempts to counter any doubts the festival organizers might have with hard facts: Pornhub’s massive infrastructure is on a par with YouTube’s, its reach is immense and it is worldwide.

Oldenburg is flirting with the porn portal

Although those responsible in Oldenburg have not yet made a final statement on the offer, they have already indicated that they will examine it thoroughly. Festival director Torsten Neumann showed cautious interest in an interview with SPIEGEL and referred to a previous cooperation with the MindGeek subsidiary Pornhub: »We already had a cooperation last year. Back then, we showed a short film by Bella Thorne that Pornhub had produced. They started their own series in which they give concept artists and filmmakers the opportunity to create unusual projects that are not necessarily pornographic.«

In addition, according to Neumann, Pornhub has also recently shown how serious the portal is about its commitment to the cultural sector with its streaming of the documentary film Shakedown, the story of the lesbian-led strip club of the same name. »We have no reservations regarding this. And Pornhub has the technology.«

It sounds like Pornhub could actually convince the festival to undertake a massive coup that would make big waves in the world of arts and culture.

You can find the Oldenburg Film Festival website here.


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