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About Maria

Maria Beatty

She is renown for her profound explorations of female sexuality, fantasy, fetish, and bdsm.

Maria Beatty has produced and directed films for over twenty-five years that are on the cutting edge of art, porn and eroticism. A precursor of the so-called new wave of “alt-porn,” she is renown for her profound explorations of female sexuality, fantasy, fetish, and bdsm. Her vision is inspired by expressionist German cinema, French surrealism, American film noir, and gay underground filmmakers such as Jean Genet and Kenneth Anger, who set new standards in erotic cinema.

After a start in the ’80s as a photographer for both fashion and music labels, Beatty started shooting in Super 8, making experimental short movies that profiled the eccentric women and transexuals living in her former neighborhood, the Lower East Side of New York City.

In 1989, she directed her first film, entitled Gang of Souls, a documentary that explored the insights and influence of the Beat poets on the artistic rock and poetry scene. Artists featured in this film include William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Jim Carroll, Marianne Faithfull, Richard Hell, Lydia Lunch, and Henry Rollins. Concurrently, she was a curator in a cultural media center, programming videos made by minorities and activists.

Soon after, she directed two more documentaries, these about women who use their bodies as a powerful tool in performance art. The first one, entitled, Sphinxes Without Secrets (1991) presents some of the most engaging work produced by women performance artists, among them Diamanda Galas, Carolee Schneemann, Holly Hughes, and Annie Sprinkle. Sluts and Goddesses (1992) came next; it delves into the slut and goddess sides of female sexuality. During this same period, she was digging deeper into the hidden world of sadomasochism and the hidden dungeon  where these fantasies and BDSM desires are usually played out.

In 1995, Beatty conceived and produced her first fetish film, The Elegant Spanking, which was shot in black and white, without spoken words, and accompanied by experimental music and sound composed by John Zorn. In it, she portrays a submissive maid, the “bottom” in an S/M relationship with another woman, played by her mistress and lover at the time. The following film,  in 1997, was The Black Glove, which quickly became a cult film. That same year, she started her own distribution company, Bleu Productions, and since then she has produced, directed and edited over thirty fetish queer and lesbian S/M films. She has performed in several of her movies, live stage performances, and was featured in the documentaries, Didn’t Do It For Love  by Monika Treut and Fetishes by Nick Broomfield.


Her films have been shown internationally at museums:

• The Whitney Museum (NY)
• The Museum of Modern Art (NY)
• The New Museum (NY)
• The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Retrospectives of her work have been presented at:

• The Amsterdam Erotic Film Festival (Holland)
• Flesh, Fetish, Fragment: A Romance, Film in the Cities (Minneapolis-Saint Paul, USA)
• Paris Fetish Film Festival (France)
• Lille LGBT Film Festival (France)
• The Barcelona International Short Film Festival (Spain)
• Athens Erotic Film Festival (Greece)
• The Seattle Erotic Film Festival (USA)
• Berlin Porn Film Festival (Germany)


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