Politics, Money, & Strippers’ Labor Rights

I am working on two documentary projects this summer with filmmakers Hima B and Tia Lessin & Carl Deal. Hima is “an independent writer/director/producer who makes social issue documentaries, narratives, experimental films and videos that explore the intersections of race, gender, sexual orientation, labor, & economics, especially as they relate to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, & questioning (LGBTQ) individuals, people of color, & women and girls.” She is working on a documentary, License to Pimp, about illegal labor practices in strip clubs. The film focuses on three strippers and how they either adapt to, fight, or quit the strip club system. She has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise money for a rough cut of the film. I have mostly been helping her with that- contacting blogs that will post about the campaign and writing newsletters and updates.

Working with Hima

Tia & Carl are a husband/wife film making team. I was aware of them before I started working with them because I had seen their powerful film about hurricane Katrina, Trouble the Water. Their current project looks into the relationship between politics and money in the United States, specifically focusing on the recall election in Wisconsin. My work for them consists of assisting the assistant editor and other odd jobs around the production office. Mostly what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks has been transcribing interviews and events.

Working at Tia & Carl's production office


Working with these filmmakers has been fantastic! Everyone is very willing to teach me about what they are doing and and explain why. I am learning so much about what it means to be an independent filmmaker. While the amount of work can be daunting, these internships are only solidifying my desire to go into documentary film making after I graduate.