Watch: Gillian Wallace Horvat’s “Raunchy Feminist Comedy,” Whiskey Fist
As her short Whiskey Fist has made its away across the festival circuit, director Gillian Wallace Horvat has penned a couple of essays for Filmmaker amplifying and riffing off of her shorts’ themes. Specifically, she takes aim at the rise of branded content masquerading as short films, critiquing filmmakers who surrender their “authenticity” by imagining that brand sponsorship isn’t affecting their art.
Her SXSW-premiering Whiskey Fist, which Horvat says was provocatively submitted to a whiskey company’s branded film content contest (containing a scene in which a man is anally penetrated by a whiskey bottle, it lost, needless to say), is now online via Short of the Week. Writes SOTW’s Jason Sondhi:
Provided the prompt “Your story should be around the great and/or unexpected things that can happen when you fear less and invite life in,” the contest looked promising to Horvat until she read the fine print, which included extensive content restrictions, brand ownership of the idea in perpetuity, and a fabulous compensation package of precisely $0. Horvat writes, “I was so impressed with the generous terms the company offered to hungry independents looking to break in, I felt I had to make this film to show my appreciation. That is why my protagonist is a branding intern who gets fucked in the ass with a whiskey bottle.”
But while Horvat focused in her Filmmaker pieces on brands and independent film, the short also focuses on another subject: reproductive rights and the accessibility of health care and health insurance. The short is both thoughtful and, in its execution, somewhat gonzo — a “raunchy feminist comedy,” says Sondhi. Check it out above.