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At the Oscars, host Anne Hathaway said it was the cinematic year of lesbians. At the Spirit Awards, host Joel McHale said it was the year of cunnilingus. But this year at CineKink, the range of filmic sexual expression is, as always, more varied. Now in its 11th edition, Cinekink kicks off tonight at the Taj Lounge with a program of performance and short films before moving to the Anthology Film Archives tomorrow for four days of screenings. A closing night party will be held on Sunday, March 6.

Each year I ask Cinekink director Lisa Vandever to make a few picks for interested Filmmaker readers. Here’s what she had to say about Cinekink 2011.

A few thoughts on this year’s CineKink. As always, I have a fondness for the shorts programs, since it’s always an amazing thing to me how the themes seem to come together each year, after several maddening weeks of staring at piles of DVDs with seemingly no relation whatsoever. This time around we have three very stellar programs: ‘Crave,’ ‘Lust, Love, Life’ and ‘Adventures in the Skin Trade,’ each one of them filled with colorful, strongly crafted works that tend to get overlooked because of their length.

Beyond that, there are a couple of works that represent how I see that sex-positive filmmaking is evolving. Our CineKink Season Opener (Wed 7 pm) this year is Kink Crusaders, a profile of the International Mr. Leather contest and the activist, Leather community — out of which grew much of the original inspiration for creating CineKink. The piece is a great example of people within the community taking on the skills necessary to document their issues and interests for themselves, taking charge of their own depictions.

Run, Run, It’s Him is another interesting documentary, by Matthew Pollack, this one an autobiographical look at one young man’s obsession with porn and his coming to terms with how it has shaped his perceptions and relationships. I think it represents a maturing within the sex-positive movement, that not everything deserves a cheerleading stance and that there is plenty of room for us to be take a close look at ourselves and our community.

And, finally, Indietro, a fictional narrative containing actual sex is what I see as a very welcome move (back?) towards a more cinematic version of explicit filmmaking, where the sex is there to strengthen the story rather than distract us from it. It’s directed by a newcomer, Viviane Darkbloom, who will also be a part of the ‘Sex It Up!’ panel I’m presenting at SXSW.

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