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Sleeping Beauty: An Interview with Director Charlie Benedetti

Sleeping Beauty: An Interview with Director Charlie Benedetti

New release on XConfessions
Erika Lust | December 24, 2020 | 5 min. read | Photos by Berta Vicente Salas

I’m really excited to welcome director Charlie Benedetti back on XConfessions with a new porn for women film Sleeping Beauty and onto the Lust Zine! Not only is Charlie a brilliant director, they're also part of my production team at Lust HQ. In this new XConfessions release, Charlie has re-made Sleeping Beauty into a magical, colourful world where consent is key and pleasure is paramount. Tackling issues of rape culture and consent, this is an erotic reimagining of an outdated fairy tale with a modern twist.

Watch the trailer and read on to get to know Charlie and find out more about their new movie!

Hey Charlie! Can you tell me how you got started in directing?

It was a long journey fighting against my insecurities due to the people (the majority of whom were men) who were making me feel like I wasn't good enough for my dreams. It took me a lot of time to realize that being a director is the only thing I really want to do in life, so I just detached myself from those people and I started to test myself in directing.

I attended a workshop with one of the most important Italian directors and I won a scholarship for a filmmaking course by the New York Film Academy. Both of these experiences proved to me that I actually had the potential to become a director and Erika Lust Films gave me the chance to prove that I could really turn my dreams into reality. I shot my first ever movie for this company a couple years ago, and I couldn't be more grateful for you and all of your team.

Why did you choose this confession and what gave you the idea to do a re-make of Sleeping Beauty?

The idea came out of a brainstorming session with my assistant director and the art director. We thought it could be fun to reinterpret a Disney fairytale, but then we realized how important it actually is.

We've all grown up watching these fairytales and we took them as a role model for our romantic relationships, not minding the fact that they are lacking the most important thing: consent. It's so frightening to realize that "rape culture" is something attached to our childhood.

I was even more shocked when I found out that the very original story of Sleeping Beauty comes from an Italian tale "Sun, Moon & Talia". In this story the princess fell under the spell and the King literally rapes her while she's sleeping. She gets pregnant and she wakes up right on time to give birth to the twins she was carrying. The "happy ending" of this tale is that the King in the end marries her and recognizes the children.

There's nothing more horrific than this. It shows once again that in a patriarchal society the role of a woman is to serve men's pleasure even if they are unconscious, become mothers and marry a man even if he is her raper. This sickening mindset that women internalise as well, gives me chills. So we just decided to reinterpret this story as it always should've been.

How was your experience on set?

I think that whenever you do something that you recognize the importance of, you can't help but feel a little tension on set. But then when I looked around and saw the faces of the incredible people that were working by my side, both cast and crew, I felt so reassured. I knew that even though all of us were feeling the pressure of a very tight schedule and the hard work to do, each of us would give their very best.

Another big challenge was directing the performers Holycouple. It was the first time for them to be directed while having sex by someone else and since they are a couple I really felt the need to be extremely careful. I needed to find the right balance in order not to be too invasive of their own intimacy. They did such a great job, I really loved and will always cherish the experience we had together.

"We've all grown up watching these fairytales, not minding the fact that they are lacking the most important thing: consent. It's so frightening to realize that 'rape culture' is something attached to our childhood."

How did shooting this compare to your last XConfessions film Un’ultima Volta?

This time all the head of departments were women and this made the biggest difference. Every time someone had something to say it was only for the good of the project, instead of wanting to prove that they are better than the others. It has been a very challenging but also a very smooth working experience and once again I can't help but thank my whole team.

What do you hope to achieve with your adult films?

My hope is to represent stories that all kind of humans can relate to. No matter the sex, gender, ethnicity or disability. And I will always do it in a Queer key, just because it's more fun 😉. But most importantly because I found in the queer community the best people, my biggest inspirations and influences.

Anything else you wanna say?

Yes, always love and respect each other. We are all damaged, especially due to things related to sex. Educate yourself about sexuality and you'll find your healing. And once you got it, spread that knowledge or personal experience. We all need it. Thank you.

Go and watch Charlie's film Sleeping Beauty on XConfessions now!

Erika Lust is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, and writer who's focus on female pleasure, cinematic values, and ethics in adult cinema have helped to change how pornography is consumed. Erika Lust Films was born in 2004 and since then Erika has ... Read More
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