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The Revolving Door Project

Revolving Door - the animated documentary

Written, directed and drawn by Alexandra & David Beesley

Gillan's arrest

Download "Revolving Door" poster

For centuries society has tried to discourage and control women who trade sex for money through a system of punishment and fines. All this does is put the sex worker further into debt and give them additional incentive to turn back to the streets trading sex for survival. This is known as the 'revolving door syndrome' and occurs in the red light district of practically every major city throughout the Western world.

Revolving Door is a gripping and compelling animated documentary looking at the complex issues surrounding Gillian, a Melbourne street sex worker. As Gillian's story unfolds, we discover that she is working in appalling conditions, is confronted by ever-present risk and danger, whilst constantly being harassed by the police, community and even the clients she services.

It's a big decision ...

In every city around the world a 'red light' district exists, and in this case, the 'red light' district of Melbourne, Australia, is the leafy bay-side suburb of St Kilda. A head count undertaken by the Centre for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases indicates that, on a busy night, there are about twenty-six sex workers on Grey Street, St Kilda, at any one time.

Traveling through the suburb, we uncover a raging debate between residents and street sex workers. The local residents have had to put up for decades with their little hamlet's reputation as being a 'red light' district and are sick and tired of their front yards being used as a dumping ground for discarded condoms and syringes. The local community feels unsafe due to the impact of the street sex work, gutter crawlers and the associated drug related crimes that threaten their neighbourhood.

Revolving Door has screened at numerous short film, electronic art and documentary film festivals around the world and has received several awards, including (awarded by international jury) the Southern Panorama's "Contemporary Investigations Acquisition prize at the 16th International Electronic Art Festival, SESC_Videobrasil, October 7, 2007, Sao Paulo, Brazil and the "HRAFF Jury Prize" at the inaugural Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, December 2007, Melbourne, Australia.

Duration: 17'38" PAL 4:3 Distributor: Beeworld Pty Ltd

Revolving Door - the interactive website

The Revolving Door website is a companion piece to the recently completed 17-minute Revolving Door animated documentary, produced with assistance from the Australian Film Commission. The website guides us through the history of sex work in St Kilda and also allows an intimate account of Gillian's world. The viewer can access original research material, Gillian's personal diary, images, audio, and interviews not included in the documentary film, allowing for a greater depth of understanding and a full spectrum of viewpoints to be obtained on complex and sometimes confronting subject matter.

Now online at

Revolving Door - the documentary series

The 'Revolving Door' Project continues, with the animated series 'Revolving Door - throwaway women' (working title) and Gillian taking us on a tour of Europe as only she can, comparing the European laws and approaches to regulating street prostitution with that of her her home town of Melbourne, Australia. In development.

Festivals & Screenings

Part One of the Revolving Door Project, 'Revolving Door - the animated documentary' has screened (or has been selected to screen) at the following festivals:

November 10 - 19, 2006
CPH:DOX (2006)
The Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (Denmark), New Vision Award nominee.

The New Vision Award is a competition for experimental, innovative and technically challenging documentaries that have one thing in common: they are not mainstream films! Some challenge the genre itself, others look for new pastures and visions in an attempt to be above average. They are all films with a personalised aura.

The New Vision Award has been founded in the belief that these brave films will both inspire and contribute to the future of the documentary film. The award is sponsored by the Association of Danish Film Directors and FAF (Film and Television Works Association).

May 2007
4th CON-CAN Movie Festival

The CON-CAN Movie Festival is an online international short film festival connecting creators and viewers all around the world. Screened in competition.

June 2007
St Kilda Film Festival
St Kilda Film Festival, Melbourne. (Australia)

'Revolving Door' was selected as part of the opening night screenings, which was especially wonderful as the festival takes place in the very suburb where Gillian works. Screened in competition.

June 22 - July 21, 2007
St Kilda Film Festival National Tour
Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart & Sydney (Australia)

'Revolving Door' has been selected as part of the 'Best of the Fest' national tour. Clicking the link downloads the 2007 National Tour brochure (763Kb .pdf file).

June 2007
17 Internationales Videofestival Bochum
17th International Video Festival, Bochum. (Germany)

Screened in competition.

June 2007
CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival
13th Canadian Film Centre's Worldwide Short Film Festival, Toronto. (Canada)

Screened in competition.

June 2007
Sydney Film Festival
54th Sydney International Film Festival, Sydney. (Australia)

Dendy Award nominee for Most Innovative short film.

September 27 - November 21, 2007
DOCNZ 2007
International Documentary Film Festival (New Zealand)

Selected for screening. The DOCNZ 2007 International Documentary Film Festival tours throughout New Zealand: Auckland (27 Sept. - 10 Oct.), Dunedin (11 - 21 Oct.), Christchurch (25 Oct. - 4 Nov.) and finally Wellington (8 - 21 Nov.)

September 5 - 17, 2007
LA Shorts Fest
11th annual LA Shorts Fest, Los Angeles (USA)

Screened in competition in Hollywood, California. The 11th annual LA Shorts Fest bills itself as the 'largest short film festival in the world'.

October 2007
SESC Videobrasil
16th International Electronic Art Festival, Sao Paulo (Brazil)

One of 67 international works selected for inclusion in the 'Southern Panoramas' exhibition, 'Revolving Door' was screened in competition in the '_Contemporary Investigations' category and on 7 October 2007 was awarded by jury the Southern Panoramas' Contemporary Investigations Acquisition Prize.

Alex & Dave in shock ...
Alex (left, in tears) & David (right, holding microphone) totally in shock being awarded the Southern Panoramas Contemporary Investigations acquisition prize
[Picture courtesy SESC_Videobrasil]

Check out the Videobrasil profile on Alex & Dave at FF>>DOSSIER here.

October 5 - 14, 2007
Morelia International Film Festival
Morelia International Film Festival, Morelia (Mexico)

"Revolving Door" was invited to screen at this fabulous festival, and was screened twice alongside a fascinating Russian feature film, 'Miss Gulag'.

November 8 - 17, 2007
15th Annual Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival
'Insanely good films', Toronto (Canada)

"Revolving Door" has been invited to screen at this annual event showcasing shorts and features that touch on mental illness and addictions, now in its 15th year.

November 19 - 24, 2007
12th Siena International Short Film Festival
Siena (Italy)

"Revolving Door" screened in the International Competition section of this international film festival held in a stunning historical town.

December 1, 2007
Human Rights Arts & Film Festival
Inaugural Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, Melbourne (Australia)

"Revolving Door" screened alongside the feature length production "Sex Slaves" on December 1st, 2007, and on the festival's closing night was awarded the "HRAFF Jury Prize", much to our delight and surprise!

December 6 - 9, 2007
Festival Novih Vizuelnih Tendencija "Paralaksa - Pogled Iz Drugog Ugla"
Dom Omladine, Belgrade (Serbia)

After being seen in Brasil, "Revolving Door" was invited to participate in this small film festival, also known as "Paralaksa 2007" (Parallax 2007) at the Dom Omladine cultural centre, Belgrade, Serbia. We were promised a copy of the beautiful program after the event, which has recently arrived and this is their unique description of the festival's curatorial approach:

'Parallax 2007. Visual art is appealing only if is capable of intervening here and now. The works have been selected according to the parallax optical phenomenon: one object, several angles, complete change of perception. The selected artists have brought about a fascinating turn in comprehending social reality by displacing the point of perception. The inspiring video works of the most recent production, provocative documentaries and unusual presentations. We will clarify the modern, interesting and exciting problems and provide the audience with a complete(ly) different visual experience. And finally, an attractive form and method point to the unexpected and sobering experiences, questioning the dulling and uniform contents of the mass media. This festival will underline the dark side of liberalism, but also provoke an active, critical attitude that revitalises every situation.'


December 2007
'Imagem Pensamento' Project
Belo Horizonte, (Brazil)

As part of the '16th Videobrasil on Tour' program, "Revolving Door" screened in the exotic city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Last year's 'Videobrasil on Tour' covered over 70 destinations throughout South America, and the itinerary for the 16th Videobrasil tour is set to be just as dynamic.

December 2007
'Laboratorio Arte Alameda'
Mexico City (Mexico)

The '16th Videobrasil on Tour' program continues in Mexico, with "Revolving Door" being screened and discussed, amongst other selections and installations from the 16th Videobrasil festival.

January 12, 2008
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
'Australian Perspectives' animated documentary program, Melbourne (Australia)

"Revolving Door" has been invited to screen at ACMI on January 12, 2008 as part of the 'Australian Perspectives' series of screenings. This session, entitled 'animated documentaries' kicks off at 4:00pm, and includes Maggie Fooke's "Pleasure Domes", "Revolving Door" and several other animated documentaries we're really looking forward to seeing - hope to see you there! Check the ACMI website for more details.

February 1, 2008
St Petersburg International Short & Animation Film Festival
St Petersburg (Russia)

The St Kilda Film Festival has curated a selection of Australian films from their last few festivals for inclusion in a special program at the St Petersburg International Short & Animation Film Festival, Russia. "Revolving Door" screened in good company on February 1st, 2008.


Bring Alex & Dave back home!

March 22, 2008
SBS Television
National television broadcast (Australia)

"Revolving Door" is being televised nationally throughout Australia on SBS television, Saturday 22 March @ 23:15 (Eastern). One of several films being broadcast as part of the 'Shorts On Screen' series. Set the VCR!

April 17 - 27 , 2008
9th Annual Bare Bones International Independent Film & Music Festival
'The World's Friendliest Film Festival', Muskogee Oklahoma (USA)

Now in it's 9th year, the Bare Bones International Independent Film & Music Festival takes place in America's heartland, the city of Muskogee, Oklahoma. Specialising in screening independent films with a budget of under $1,000,000.00, "Revolving Door" will be screened in competition at the "Roxy Theatre" (8:00pm, April 21st, Muskogee) and is in the running to win the coveted 'Bonehead Award' for animation ... fingers crossed!

Update: "Revolving Door" awarded 'Bonehead Award' for Best Animated Short Film, April 2007.

July, 2008
IFCT - 2008 World Tour
The International Festival of Cinema & Technology (USA)

"Revolving Door" has been selected to screen as part of the the annual International Festival of Cinema and Technology (now in its 6th year) World Tour 2008, comprising a series of screenings across the USA and Australasia commencing March 2008. Details will be posted as soon as they become available.

Update: "Revolving Door" awarded Runner-up "Best Documentary Short Film" & Runner-up "Best Experimental Documentary Short Film" at the 2008 IFCT World Tour awards, Seattle, USA, July 2008.

July - November 2008
VB on Tour 2008 - 2009
Videobrasil on Tour

Yet more screening dates have been announced for VB on Tour 2008 - 2009, whose program "... brings together the works awarded at the 16th International Electronic Art Festival SESC_Videobrasil (2007) ..." of which 'Revolving Door' was one: SESC Araraquara, Brazil, July 16, 2008; SESC Taubate, Brazil, August 5 - 10, 2008; Faculdade Estacio de Sa, Ourinhos SP, Brazil, November 3 - 8, 2008; 'Fundacion Cultural Imaginea', Cinemateca Boliviana, La Paz, Bolivia, November 6 - 8, 2008; 'Chroma Festival', Guadalajara, Mexico, November 15 - 20, 2008 & the 'aluCine Festival' (the Toronto Latin media festival, presented by the National Film Board of Canada), Toronto, Canada, November 20 - 29, 2008.

For more details, check out the VB on Tour news page, updated on a regular basis.

February 1 - 8 2009
3rd International Short Film Festival 'Psarokokalo'
Athens (Greece)

"Revolving Door" was selected to be screened in competition, and played at the Nixon Cinema in Athens at 23:00 on February 4th 2009 and at 19:00 on February 5th 2009. We'll update this list with any feedback when we know it!

March 10 - 21 2009
'Art of Difference' disability and deaf arts festival
Melbourne (Australia)

"Revolving Door" was screened as part of the Block Party, Art of Difference arts festival, Australia's premiere international deaf and disability arts event.

Last updated January 2013
© 2006 Beeworld Pty Ltd