Scarlet Road

A film by Catherine Scott, Produced by Pat Fiske

Australia | 2011 | 70 minutes | Color | DVD | English | Order No. 121060

SYNOPSIS

Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression, Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton specializes in a long overlooked clientele— people with disabilities. Working in New South Wales—where prostitution is legal— Rachel’s philosophy is that human touch and sexual intimacy can be the most therapeutic aspects to our existence. Indeed, she is making a dramatic impact on the lives of her customers, many of whom are confined to wheelchairs or cannot speak or move unaided. Through her graduate studies and her nonprofit group Touching Base, Rachel both fights for the rights of sex workers and promotes awareness and access to sexual expression for the disabled through sex work—and brings together these two often marginalized groups. We follow her from conducting sex and disability workshops to speaking to the World Congress on Sexual Health about her mission to observing her overnight stays with severely disabled clients who blossom under her attention—with one man even gaining back lost movement and sensation thanks to his time spent with her. Rachel has made it her life’s work to end the stigma surrounding these populations; the depth, humor and passion in this positive and pro-active documentary will transform the way we see sex workers and people with disabilities forever.

PRESS

"Recommended...a caring, non-exploitative look at a serious subject."

Video Librarian

“[Rachel] permits the cameras in to record their most intimate moments. Their pride and pleasure makes this one of the most uplifting films you’ll see all year.”

Jenny Neighbour Sydney International Film Festival

“The film serves as an important reminder that the best way to understand the lives of sex workers and people with disabilities is to listen when these communities speak for themselves. Highly recommended for college-level courses in the fields of gender and sexuality studies and disability studies.”

Anna E. Ward Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Swarthmore College

“It’s such a beautiful story and one which fills the viewer with a sense of greater humanity, a reminder that there are wonderful people out there doing such important work that touches so many lives. A feeling of, you know, humans are alright.”

Digital Romance Lab

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • Alexandria Film Festival
  • Dallas Video Festival
  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival
  • HRAFF Human Rights Arts & Film Festival
  • Reelabilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival
  • Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival
  • Salem Film Festival
  • Sarasota Film Festival
  • SXSW, International Premiere
  • Sydney Film Festival, World Premiere

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Catherine Scott

Catherine Scott is an independent Director/Producer in Australia. She was a former member of the Paper Tiger TV collective for ten years in New York City. She was Director/ Co-writer of Selling Sickness and Director/Co-producer of the Walkley award-winning Business Behind Bars screened on SBS and many TV markets around the world.Her productions include Breathless; Drawing the Line at Pitston and Staking a Claim in Cyberspace. She has been a frequent Coordinating Producer/Director for Deep Dish TV producing Who’s Afraid of the Little Yellow School Bus?, Lock Down USA, (WNET) The Last Graduation.

Cathy was a coordinator and Co-producer of the Gulf Crisis TV Project, a timely ten-part series about the Gulf War by Paper Tiger TV and the Deep Dish Network, aired on PBS affiliates nationally, Channel Four (UK), SBS television (Australia). Catherine produced TV Connections, which was part of the Signal to Noise series, and ITVS funded project broadcast on the PBS network in the USA. (1/12)

Pat Fiske

Pat Fiske is an experienced director and producer and is recognized as a prominent member of Australia’s independent film making community. Pat produced Business Behind Bars; Selling Sickness; Beats Across Borders and the River of No Return. Among the other films she has directed and produced are the award-winning documentaries: An Artist From Eden, Following The Fenceline; Leaping Off The Edge; ‘Doc’, a portrait of Herbert Vere Evatt; For All The World To See, a portrait of Prof Fred Hollows; Night Patrol; Australia Daze; Rocking The Foundations, a history of the NSW Builders Laborers’ Federation and the Green Bans and Woolloomooloo.

She was active on the boards of Filmnews and the Australian Screen Directors Association for many years. In 1999-2000, Pat worked as the Documentary Consultant at SBSI for 18 months. In March 2001 at the Australian Documentary Conference in Perth she was awarded the third prestigious Stanley Hawes Award for her outstanding contribution to the documentary industry in Australia. She was Co-Head of the Documentary Department at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School from 2002-2008. For the last three years, Pat has been producing Scarlet Road, working part time as a curator for Australian Screen Online and developing projects. (1/12)

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