Pigs Without Blankets - The Documentary
A funny look at a not-so-funny subject, and the passionate people on the front lines called "intactivists."
Want to discover more about the penis than you ever thought possible? You found the right film to back. Join us on our humorous exploration of America's practice of SECULAR circumcision.
1. Lots of people have a penis. And even more people are in some kind of relationship with one whether it's romantic or parental. If you ask a man to list the things more important to him than his relationship with his penis, you'll get a very short list. Yet, we don't talk about what happens to most American penises. The fact that we never discuss a surgical procedure done to millions of American baby boys moments after their birth is, well, weird, to some. The fact that people become enraged and often hostile when the subject of circumcision is discussed is even weirder. We want viewers to meet the group of people who fight against circumcision, discover what motivates them, and understand why they feel the best penis is the one left intact. Help us tell their stories, and help us shed light on a practice.
There are many cultural archetypes highlighted in the film, but one has yet to become a household name.
2. The penis is not what you think it is. The idea of a taut, streamlined battering ram is profoundly American. Many people in the US think penises are strange or "gross" in their natural state. Step back a moment and think about how bizarre it is that unless the penis has been surgically altered it's considered abnormal.
3. People think being circumcised protects them from HIV and STDs.
Several years ago a host of studies were conducted with adult African men to determine whether circumcision is a viable HIV prevention strategy. The results of these trials are now being used to justify an even greater push to rid the world of foreskin. We want to examine this aspect more fully and uncover the truth about circumcision and its real and perceived relationship to sexually transmitted infections.
4. It's gonna be funny! Let’s face it, penises are funny (and funny-looking) no matter what. However, this particular topic evokes a range of emotions, from discomfort to rage. Let’s try a different approach… humor. Intactivists have it rough as it is. They are ridiculed, shamed, deemed "perverts," and in some cases are passionate about the subject of circumcision to a bewildering degree. But the humor endemic to such a calling is what we have worked to capture in this film. If you couldn't tell by the trailer, we have quite an array of penis enthusiasts including superstars like Alan Cumming, attorneys fighting for the rights of the child, and highly motivated foreskin regenerators. What all of these people have in common is the ridiculousness associated with being an advocate for intact penises. Our film lovingly and humorously examines what drives these "intactivists" while thoroughly helping the viewer understand the issue more fully.
One of Hollywood's most eccentric personalities, Alan has not only starred in Hollwood blockbusters, Broadway musicals, and TV Dramas, but he is also a best-selling author, creator of art exhibitions, and even the face of his own stamp! Alan has fiercely advocated for various civil rights and sex education causes throughout his career.
Above all other causes, Alan's most fervent is protecting the foreskin, a common thread in our cast. Alan's sexual exploits drove him to the intactivism passion he has today. After being wed to both a woman and man, as well as his fair share of partners in between, what has shocked him most is the absence of foreskin in the US, or maybe more aptly, other people's shock of his.
Steven Svoboda: A man with a Masters in physics from UC Berkeley, a graduate of Harvard Law School, and an accomplished patent lawyer in San Francisco, Steven is a pretty smart dude. He also happens to be pretty passionate over foreskin.
In addition to his patent expertise, Steven continued his education to become a human rights attorney and founded Attorneys for The Rights of the Child. Steven has been fighting to extend female infants' right to bodily integrity to male infants for decades. He has been invited to the UN to advocate for genital integrity and continues to this day to be a prominent player in the intactivist community.
Eric Clopper: A recent college grad and somewhat stereotypical millennial, Eric consented to PWOB with full understanding that he would forever be branded as the "foreskin guy."
Eric's foreskin relationship started like most American guys, teasing the foreskin of his only uncircumcised friend, to bewilderment at the site of an intact penis, to the eventual harsh realization that it was not him, but that one lucky bastard in middle school whose got the whole package. We'll follow Eric in his journey from an ex-physicist, frat boy, rugby player, and health care consultant to the pioneer of prepuce regeneration as Foregen's spokesman.
And Many More to Come...
A growing list of activists, scientists, celebrities, scholars, and people of all walks are joining the “Pigs Without Blankets” roster to speak their minds. Help elevate the production and the platform by checking out our host of reward prizes.
Bringing Intactivists Together
One of our main rewards is the Thank You Dinner and intactivist networking event in New York City. Together we have enormous power to take advantage of the ease of information flow in this day and age.
When presented with accurate information, people can reevaluate their positions. Once emotions and angry yelling take over, thinking stops. Help us make a film that doesn't get people defensive, but rather inspires and informs so that viewers can make up their own minds. Society needs leaders; society needs you.
Be part of this groundbreaking documentary as we shoot your interview for your story regarding this touchy topic.
You're of course invited to the Intactivist Thank You Dinner in NYC as well as all the lesser tiers. Don't forget to wear your Tee!
Meet the Production Team
Lou Peterson is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate Film Program. His thesis project, IN THE BLOOD, was acquired by MTV Networks and debuted on LOGO -- it was the cable channel’s highest rated movie at that time. His recent short film, GIVE BABY A KISS is an award-winning thriller adapted from a short story by screenwriter Eddie Borey. It debuted at the Hollywood Chinese Theater as part of the Hollyshorts program, and went on to play at numerous festivals across the country including Cinevegas in Las Vegas, the Atlanta International Film Festival, and opened the New York Thriller Film Festival. His earlier work includes the award-winning short film ENCOUNTER which was a Sundance favorite released on the critically acclaimed compilation "Best of Breed." Currently, Lou is set to direct his next feature "Cracked" for producer Philip Pierce ("Boy Culture").
Savas Abadsidis is the Cheif Media Strategist for Connected Health Solutions. Connected Health Solutions, Inc., is a public health company and new media agency that produces social marketing campaigns (aka PSA’s) for at-risk teens, African-American, Latino, Asian-American, the LGBQT+ community, and other disadvantaged groups to help them live better lives. CHS' specialties include dealing with issues around poverty, HIV, trans-community issues, med-adherence, bullying, and more. Throughout his career he's been an accomplished retail executive and brand manager for Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister Co., Zoo York and Ecko Unlimited. He's also a writer, editor, and producer who's work has appeared in publications ranging from The Huffington Post, Maxim, and Interview Magazine to The Advocate and Fangoria. Savas lives at home with his mother in Poughkeespie.
Kenny Neal Shults is an intactivist - and a stand up comic, writer, actor, filmmaker and a public health consultancy owner living in Brooklyn, NYC. He's made numerous short films, mostly for non-profits, but now is focused on this feature-length documentary. In addition to being a comic, writer, and actor Kenny also runs a small production company that makes digital, commercial-length ads that contribute to the common good, aka Public Service Announcements (PSAs). Kenny's ads address any topic be it bullying, tolerance, or wearing a condom. Kenny normally makes these PSAs on behalf of non-profit agencies, but Pigs Without Blankets is his first ever crowd-sourced film. This documentary will be the finale to his first, comedic Kickstarter - Pigs Without Blankets - that Kenny ran successfully last year. You can see the original Kickstarter promo here:
PETER BENSON - GRAPHIC ARTIST. Peter is a veteran graphic designer and dedicated intactivist. (surprise!) Recruited to the PWOB production from his fellow Foregen board member, Eric Clopper, Peter translates one of the most stigmatizing topics on the planet into an approachable platform. I mean just look at these graphics, they’re hilarious!
We couldn't end without a brief description of the foreskin. The foreskin on the average aroused male is about 15 square inches. It contains the majority of the pleasure-sensing nerves and is responsible for keeping the glans sensitive and intercourse with your partner mobile and well-lubricated. There are a whole bunch of other benefits, but the main point is that it is really, really pleasurable.
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Risks and challenges
As far as production is concerned, we do not anticipate many obstacles - we are a well-oiled production machine. We do this all the time, but this project is much larger than what we usually take on, which is why we are asking for more funding.
There are always challenges, however. We may need to change shoot dates, or lose cast. Sometimes we have to re-shoot something and that takes up tons of time and resources. Editing is the most expensive and time consuming aspect and sometimes it takes longer to get things right, but again; while there may be some snags, we are very used to overcoming them and can assure backers that we will complete this documentary come hell or high water.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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