Creative Scotland investigating concerns over public funding for explicit film

More than £84,000 was awarded to the project in January.

Creative Scotland investigating concerns over public funding for explicit film PA Media

Creative Scotland has said it is investigating a decision to award almost £85,000 of public funds to a film project which requires actors to participate in explicit “non-simulated” sex scenes.

In the January round of the public arts body’s National Lottery Open Fund, £84,555 was awarded to director Leonie Rae Gasson for the Rein development.

The projects website describes it as a 45-minute art installation which pays those who take part a fee of £270 per day to take part in “non-simulated” sex, including “hardcore” acts.

The recruitment advert states actors must be over the age of 18, with those with previous sex work experience – “particularly in porn contexts” – encouraged to apply.

The public funding allocation has come under fire, particularly at a time the arts sector struggles to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Creative Scotland told the Sunday Post it is “aware of concerns” and will investigate the project.

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Meghan Gallacher said: “Given the concerns raised here, Scottish Government ministers must make clear that robust processes were followed before handing over taxpayers’ money for the show.”

The Scottish Government said funding decisions are made independently by the arts body.

A Creative Scotland spokesperson said: “We are aware of concerns being raised about this project and we are investigating. We will say more in due course.”

In Ms Gasson’s description of the project, she said: “If you are selected to be in the cast, our intimacy co-ordinators will support you to more clearly identify your detailed needs and boundaries with the sexual aspects of the work.

“This is a pro-sex and pro-sex worker project, so, even if your character does not engage in sex, you will be around those that do.”

Ms Gasson has been asked for additional comment.

Feminist campaigners For Women Scotland told the Scottish Sun: “At a time when genuine arts projects struggle to find funding, it seems that Scottish Government-supported bodies are eager to splash the cash on projects that dehumanise women and promote unhealthy and dangerous relationships.”

The group has demanded to know who “signed off” on the decision to fund the project through the “public purse”.

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