After seeing festival success with 20 Seconds of Joy, a film about Norwegian professional BASE jumper Karina Hollekim, Jens Hoffman and his Munich-based prodco F24 Film return with a doc looking at the people behind the porn business. 9to5: Days in Porn debuts at the Montreal World Film Festival this Saturday, August 23.
Hoffman has high hopes for his latest doc which took four years to make, including nine months of editing. For 9to5 he followed fifteen porn industry workers for a year, going along through their daily lives while getting their perspective on the industry in which they work. Ten main subjects made the final cut, including Sasha Grey, an upcoming porn superstar who has graced the cover of VICE magazine and appeared in The Roots’ video for their song Birthday Girl, and who will be present for the premiere of the film in Montreal.
Hoffman points out that the other festivals that are showing early interest in the film aren’t doc fests. ‘We feel that 9to5 doesn’t really belong in the doc category anyway,’ says Hoffman. ‘First of all the story structure feels like a feature movie. There’s no narration, and it has a drama structure to it.’ The distributor which has already picked it up for worldwide distribution, Cologne-based Media Luna, doesn’t focus heavily on docs either. And in the films German test screenings, says Hoffman, the audience responded to it as if it were a drama. ‘They asked why did you shoot the movie this way and why did you write it like that?’ he says. ‘They totally forgot it’s not acted, it’s real. We didn’t write that, we didn’t make it up, it was like that.’
According to Hoffman, the test screening also exposed a surprising dichotomy of reactions from men and women. Some of the male viewers felt the men in the film should go to jail for their role in the porn industry and were more likely to be offended by what the women in the doc were saying. Meanwhile many of the women in the audience could relate to the subjects in the film. ‘Girls took it much easier than guys,’ says Hoffman. ‘It was pretty funny.’ Link here to see the trailer in our screening room.