Duo behind popular ‘Modern Whore: A Memoir’ debut film adaptation based on real-life escort experiences.
Steeped in hypnotizing colour and imagery, award-winning filmmaker Nicole Bazuin (Sleeping With Family, 2016) and accomplished author and activist Andrea Werhun’s highly stylized short hybrid-documentary Modern Whore captures the experiences of an escort in the age of #MeToo. Part of SXSW’s 2020 Documentary Shorts Program, Modern Whore sees Andrea Werhun depicting her sex worker alias ‘Mary Ann’, as she discovers online reviews penned by her patrons. The film will have its World Premiere at the 2020 SXSW Festival, which takes place in Austin, Texas between March 13 and 22.
On the heels of critical and popular acclaim for the published memoir of the same name in Playboy, VICE, CBC, The Guardian and more, Werhun and Bazuin teamed up with Lisa Baylin from iThentic to bring Mary Ann to the silver screen in a hilarious and heartbreaking hybrid-documentary. Andrea Werhun lived a double life for many years; By day she was a top-University student, by night she was sex worker Mary Ann. In Modern Whore, Andrea revisits her discovery of outrageous online reviews of Mary Ann’s sexual performance written by self-proclaimed “hobbyists.”
“Being an escort felt like performing the role of my alter ego, complete with my own fake name, my own persona, a costume, and the opportunity to play a character that was just the sexiest version of myself,” says author, activist, and film subject Andrea Werhun. “It is imperative that sex workers tell their own stories, and those stories can be empowering. This is why we made Modern Whore the book, and Modern Whore the film.”
Carving out space on-screen for a sex worker’s story, Modern Whore is a rare narrative told and performed by the sex worker herself. Flipping the script on a narrative generally controlled by ‘johns’, Modern Whore reclaims the experiences of sex workers: the good, the bad, and the funny. In this hybrid documentary, hobbyist and escort perspectives collide with unexpected and cheeky results.
“We are thrilled to be debuting our film at SXSW,” says award-winning filmmaker Nicole Bazuin. “We are looking forward to bringing a new and important conversation about sex work to the forefront and to create impact with the story of Modern Whore.”
The film is an adaptation of Modern Whore: A Memoir, the acclaimed illustrated art book created in collaboration with the film’s director, Nicole Bazuin.
The upcoming, expanded 2nd edition of the Modern Whore: A Memoir book will be available for pre-order starting March 3rd, 2020. Sign up at modernwhore.com for the official announcement and further screening dates and information.
Follow Modern Whore:
Follow Andrea Werhun on Instagram: @weenerwoman
Follow Andrea Werhun on Twitter: @andreawerhun
Follow Modern Whore on Twitter: @modernwhore
Follow Nicole Bazuin on Instagram: @nicobazuin
NICOLE BAZUIN | Director
Nicole Bazuin is an award-winning film director, and co-creator/photographer of Modern Whore: A Memoir. The New York Times calls her images “provocative” and Hazlitt attributes them “the high contrast irony of a David LaChapelle magazine spread.” She is the creator/director of the comedy art show This Art Works! (CBC Arts), and the climate change doc series Climate Talks With Kids (Bell TV). Her film Sleeping With Family was an official selection at the Hot Docs Film Festival. Nicole’s media artworks have been exhibited in the Art Gallery of Ontario, and commissioned by festivals such as Nuit Blanche and Luminato.
ANDREA WERHUN | Subject
Andrea Werhun is the author and performer of Modern Whore: A Memoir. Since appearing in the CBC documentary Sugar Sisters, Andrea’s sex work expertise has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Hazlitt, VICE, and The Globe and Mail. She is interviewed among luminaries like Michelle Obama in the upcoming Yann Arthus Bertrand documentary WOMAN (Spring 2020). She has writen about sex and consent for Playboy, and is profiled in a nude pictorial for their 65th anniversary Freedom of Speech print issue (January 2019). Andrea is also a Peer Outreach Worker with Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Worker Action Project.