Award of Excellence – Tie Up (USA)

Title: Tie Up
Runtime: 18 min
Country: USA
Director: Weixin Zhuang
Placement: Award of Excellence
Competition: March, 2022

Synopsis: The film opens with a traditional goddess statue on the altar, along with two nostalgic photos of Asian females, inside a regular apartment located in Brooklyn, New York. As the images smoothly zoom out, we hear a gentle voice introducing the items in the frame. Everything seems usual until she picks up the dagger and points out that it’s a gift from her late slave, at this point, she reveals her as the professional dominatrix Dia Dynasty. 

Following her singular journey, the film explores the dynamic between the dominatrix and the client, specifically to BDSM fetish, also exhibiting the bonding of spirituality and sexuality. It captured the vivid and never-seen cinema vérité of a real BDSM sexual session, trace to the origin of the edgy desire via the interview from the client in the session. Later Dia describes the rare yet valuable relationship between her and her late client, the two individuals were tied up because of the extraordinary connection. 

Frame cut back to her apartment, Dia starts sharing her thoughts and memories of why she chooses to be a sex worker, and how she enjoys this job in many aspects she values. The image slowly zooms out to a wide shot, she lying on her bed with her cat Lady, soaking up the warm, soft afternoon sunshine. Blackness.