Female Directors of Porn Movies
There are a growing number of women in the porn industry who are calling the shots from behind the camera. Some of them are offering up the standard mainstream stuff we've come to expect from porn, but others are working hard to create a different vision of sex and erotica. I've tried to compile a list of female porn directors who are attempting to create female-friendly porn, although some of these women work in mainstream porn as well.
Note: Please visit Feminist Porn Guide for more information on feminist porn directors.
Candida earns top billing on any site discussing porn movies for
women, because she is the pioneer of this genre. Originally an actress
during the 70s, Candida directed her first film for women, Femme,
in 1985. She has since made 16 features, her most recent being Under
The Covers. "Even though society has told us women are
not visual, my hunch was always that if someone created visuals
that appealed to us, we'd be very turned on by what we see!"
Candida has also created a line of ergonomic vibrators called the
Natural Contours range.
Chec out our special Candida Royalle page for more information and a listing of her films.
Candida's home page
UK-based film maker Petra Joy originally worked at a German erotic
TV show. She turned her hand to erotic photography and then branched
out into film, independently producing two titles aimed specifically
at women, and featuring female fantasies. Her film, Feeling It, is distributed under Candida Royalle's Femme line. She is self distributing her latest movie The Female Voyeur because mainstream companies are concerned about the male-male bi scene in it.
Check out our special Strawberry Seductress page for more information and a listing of her films.
Anna Span's final dissertation at film school was titled "Towards a New Pornography." She is now Britain's best known (at first only) female porn director and has had several documentaries made about her. Anna's films cater to both men and women, and they depict numerous female fantasies. The guys are good looking, you get to see lots of them, there's eye contact and realistic scenarios. Her films include: Good Service, Hoxton Honey, Uniform Behaviour, Pound a Punnet and Toy With Me. In 2010 Anna ran in the UK election under her own name as a Liberal Democrat candidate.
Writer and sex educator Tristan Taormino made her first foray into adult film with the Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, the video version of her book, co-directed and filmed by gonzo pioneer John Stagliano. She followed this up with a sequel in 2001 and both movies won awards. In 2006 she created her own production company Smart Ass Productions and brought our her first film Tristan Taormino's House of Ass, created with female viewers in mind. She has helmed numerous instructional films under the VividEd imprint and is working on more gonzo films for that company. She has made three Rough Sex films, pushing the boundaries of feminist porn with her exploration of edgy female fantasies.
Spanish filmmaker Erika Lust made waves with her short film The Good Girl which she originally released online under a Creative Commons license. She then expanded the scene into an adult feature entitled Five Hot Stories For Her. The film became available in English in March 2008 and won Movie of the Year at the Feminist Porn Awards. Her follow up films Life Love Lust and Cabaret Desire have also won awards. She has also released a documentary feature The Barcelona Sex Project as well as a book about porn for women.
French-based independent filmmaker Maria Beatty started out as a documentary maker. She has been making hard-edged BDSM lesbian films since 1994, writing, directing, shooting and editing everything herself. She has also produced several full-length feature films and runs her own membership site.
Check out our special Maria Beatty film page for more information and a listing of her films.
Shine Louise Houston
After studying artist filmmaking in San Francisco, Shine Louise Houston worked at adult store Good Vibrations for five years. The job made her realise that there were very few authentic lesbian porn films on the market and she set out to create her own. Her first film The Crash Pad won a Feminist Porn Award in 2006 and she has since produced several more films (e.g. Champion) as well has her own adult website, The Crash Pad Series.
Check out our special Shine Louise Houston film page for more information and a listing of her films.
Known as "the thinking man's porn star", Tina Tyler is a director and executive liaison for Lexington Steele's Mercenary Pictures. Aside from her mainstream porn movies she has her own series of male masturbation films made for straight women called Handyman.
Check out our special Tina Tyler film page for more information and a listing of her films.
Nica Noelle began her career as a writer and director for Girlfriends Films before joining forces with Mile High Media to create the all girl studio, Sweetheart Video. In less than a year, Sweetheart became one of the adult industry's top lesbian studios and was nominated for an AVN award for "Best New Line 2009." Noelle's attention to story line and seduction, as well as her willingness to explore dark psychological themes, have made her films a favorite with men, women and couples. In 2008 Noelle and Mile High Media teamed up again to create new boy/girl studio Sweet Sinner Video and subsequently released a large number of titles within the space of three years. She has since severed the business relationship and started her own company, Hard Candy Films. She intends to release more of her own brand of boy-girl films without the restrictions of mainstream expectations.. Along with writing and directing adult films, Noelle works as a freelance science journalist in Palos Verdes California, and teaches science classes to children in LA homeless shelters.
Check out our special Nica Noelle Sweetheart Video page for more information and a listing of her films.
Courtney Trouble began her porn career in 2002 when she launched NoFauxxx, now hailed as the first queer porn paysite on the net. In 2009 she moved into the world of film. Her debut erotic movie Roulette won a Feminist Porn Award for Most Diverse Cast. She then directed several other titles for Good Releasing, churning out titles at the rate of one a month. At the end of 2011 she started her own company, Trouble Films. Her artistic films cross all genre lines, radically ignoring the rigid categories set up by mainstream porn. Lesbian, gay, trans and straight sex all appear together in her films, reflecting a distinctly pansexual sensibility.
Check out our special Courtney Trouble page for more information and a listing of her films.
Kelly Holland aka Toni English
Kelly Holland has a background in film production, and spent ten
years directing documentaries before she was hired by adult studio
Vivid. She has since made dozens of features for that company, mainly
mainstream titles, as well as films for Wicked, Playgirl, Penthouse and Adam and Eve. She has also launched her own production company, Chick Media, and released several female-friendly titles. "At a personal level, what I like most about
movies is context, actors who are believable, realistic scenarios,
and realistic dialogue," she told AVN magazine.
Check out our special Kelly Holland film page for more information.
Australian Anna Brownfield has a background in mainstream filmmaking although she always aimed to create erotic movies for a female audience. Her first film The Money Shot was a humorous look at the process of making porn and won several awards in 2005. Her follow-up feature The Band has won critical acclaim for its successful mix of explicit sex and gripping story.
Check out our special Anna Brownfield page for more information and a listing of her films.
San Francisco-based Madison Young describes herself as a "bondage/ fetish model, adult performer, artist, gallerist,activist, published writer, rope slut, queer and feminist." She runs a non-profit art gallery called Femina Potens and performs in porn to help fund it. She creates adult films that primarily feature lesbian BDSM with lashings of of queer kink thrown in. She made numerous adult films in 2010 for Good Releasing before taking time off in 2011 to have a child. Madison runs several membership sites including her oldest, Madison Bound.
Check out our special Madison Young page for more information and a listing of her films.
Jennifer Lyon Bell
An American living in Amsterdam, Jennifer Lyon Bell runs Blue Artichoke Films, a production company dedicated to making "erotic films for people who love film." Her short feature Matinee debuted at the Rated X festival in 2009. It won best Short Film at Cinekink in the same year and was banned from the Melbourne Underground Film Festival by the Australian censors. She teamed up with Belgian artist Murielle Schere to create Skin. Like. Sun which won a Feminist Porn Award. Jennifer is currently working on a documentary about BDSM.
Ms Naughty aka Louise Lush, began creating porn sites for women in 2000. Since 2003 she has jointly run For The Girls, an erotic magazine for straight women. She also blogs about porn for women and runs Porn Movies for Women (this site). In early 2009 she made her first adult short film That's What I Like which went on to win the Petra Joy Award in Berlin. She has since made several more erotic shorts and the male masturbation feature The Thought Of Her. All of her work is available at BrightDesire.com. She is working on a second feature about female fantasies.
For more info visit the Indigo Lush website.
Former adult actress Skye Blue has become one of the major "couples" porn directors in the industry. She is CEO of her own company Platinum Blue Productions and also directs for other major names like Wicked and Playgirl. She was also executive director for Playgirl TV and has produced non-adult programs.
This sexologist and author has written two books and has long been the sex advice columnist at Playgirl. In 2009 she ventured into the adult film industry with a line of instructional videos called the Personal Touch series for Adam and Eve studios. Her site is here.
Check out our special Jamye Waxman film page for more information and a listing of her films.
Sex educator, editor and writer Audacia Ray originally worked at the Museum of Sex in New York and has since become involved in many aspects of the adult world. Her first adult feature, The Bi Apple, was released in February 2007. The film is distributed by Adam & Eve. Her blog is Waking Vixen
French erotic film director Ovidie previously worked as a porn actress, starring in All About Anna and she has written several books including The Porn Manifesto in 2002. Her feature film Histoires de Sexe(s) played at the Berlin Porn Film Festival in 2009. She works behind the scenes on the French cable channel FrenchLoverTV.
Visit our Ovidie film page for more info about her movies
French lesbian filmmaker Emilie Jouvet made waves with her sexy short film The Apple. Her feature One Night Stand has screened at numerous festivals and won a Feminist Porn Award. She directed and took part in Too Much Pussy, a queer road movie that saw a group of "feminist sluts" travel across Europe.
Caribbean-born Estelle Joseph got tired of looking for porn that
she would enjoy, so she went out and made it herself. The result
of much work is the City of Flesh series, all of which are self
financed and written by Estelle. These movies aren't your typical
"girly" porn - there's no soft focus and the sex is very
hardcore - but they do reflect a distinct female viewpoint. Estelle has since retired from the adult industry.
Check out our special Stella Films page for more information and a listing of her films.
Lesbian director Dana Dane is forging new paths into the world
of porn with Erocktavision, her rock-video styled authentic lesbian
erotica. Originally part of the mainstream industry, Dana was working her way up the ranks by creating music videos with 35mm film. She became involved in the adult industry in 2002, eager to create adult films for women like herself. She is currently engaged to performer Niki Clover and lives in Malibu.
The Erocktavision films are featured on our Dana Dane page.
Another lesbian writer and director, Angela was one of the women behind Pornograflics.
Named after the Hottentot Venus, the African woman displayed naked as a novelty in the 19th Century, Venus directed Candida Royalle's first Femme Chocolat film, Afrodite Superstar. She's an arts college graduate and has forged a multimedia career as a short film maker, author and playwright.
Female Directors Doing Mainstream Porn
Italian Anita Rinaldi made the jump from modelling to Euro porn
films, and then moved into the director's chair. Her films feature
sumptuous fantasy settings, thanks to an interest in interior design.
She is also keen on bringing her own fantasies to life. "I
had these great visual ideas," she told Adult Video News, "and
I thought why should I be giving them away to others for their films?
So I put up the money and started to shoot myself."
Anita Rinaldi's films are listed at Gamelink.
After starting an adult film career in the mid eighties, Ona Zee
starred in more than 300 adult films before starting her own production
company in 1990. She has since produced and directed numerous adult
films including her 13 part instructional series Learning the Ropes.
"Women have a very different sense of what looks good than
men, " she told AVN.
Ona Zee's films are available through her website OnaZee.com or search at Gamelink for "Ona Zee Pictures"
Jilly Kelly is another veteran in front of the camera, having performed in over 500 films. She now runs her own production company, Jilly Kelly Productions, which produces relatively mainstream porn content. "I want men and women to be able to watch my movies together," she told AVN. "It's hardcore but not too hard."
Other Female Directors to Watch
(note these listing are rather out of date... to be updated)
Kat had directed on mainstream Hollywood film before moving into adult, where she now creates films for Hustler. Kat's movies aren't really the kind of smut women will enjoy, however she earns points for this quote from AVN: : "I hate it when someone comes to me and says, 'What positions do you want?' I basically say, 'Give them all to me; give one to me; I don't care about the number; it's the quality.' In Young Sluts Inc. 1, there's a scene with Tristan and Amber Paige, and they were really having sex. They were really in the moment. There was this amazing chemistry going on, and my camera guys turn to me and they're like, 'We're shooting no-core.' And I'm like, 'I don't care. They're fucking. Keep shooting.' Her legs are wrapped around him, they're looking in each other's eyes, and they're just in the moment, and that, for me, is one of my favorite shots."
Shay Sights and Renee LaRue
These two former porn stars turned director run a porn film production company called Dragonfly Pictures. They say their movies have a distinctly spiritual aspect, reflecting Shay's interest in Reiki and other alternative healing therapies.
Devinn Lane has worked primarily as an actress for Wicked Pictures, but she has also directed her first feature called Pillowtalk, based around what women talk about together, and has said she plans to create a series of instructional sex videos aimed at women. "Men don't have as many issues about sex as women do," she told AVN. "Women don't want to be told by men how they should be having sex. Women are more apt to listen if it's coming from another woman."
Note: Since I wrote the original entries about female directors of mainstream porn, a lot of other women have moved behind the camera. It may be too expansive a topic to comprehensively cover here so I'll leave it as-is for the moment.