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Best Lead Performance Nominee, Nightmares Film Festival
Best Student Short Film, Boobs & Blood International Film Festival
Best Horror Film Finalist, ATX Short Film Showcase Best of the Year Festival
Best Horror Film Award Finalist, Austin After Dark Film Festival
Finalist, Slash and Bash Horror/Sci-Fi Film Festival
Official Selection, San Francisco Bay Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival
Official Selection, ATX Short Film Showcase
Official Selection, Hyperreal Film Club

narrative short film - 12 mins - 2024

A sadistic client follows a young stripper home, only to learn she's more than he bargained for

written and edited by Maclaine Lowery - produced and directed by Maclaine Lowery and June Shaukat

Official Selection, GORST UNDERGROUND Exploitation Film and Punk Rock Festival


An Asian woman in blue eyeshadow, blue earrings, and a black coat stands next to a chainlink fence in a blurry film photograph
A pole dancer kneels on a stage in front of a dancing pole and red velvet curtains. A candle flickers in front of her.
A woman's bloody hand holds a high-heeled stiletto shoe on the hood of a car.

Director's Statement

written by Maclaine Lowery

Sex work is a world of duality. To be desired but stigmatized, emboldened yet victimized, glamourous and brutalized, is to endure amidst volatility. We live halfway in the spotlight as Venus, and halfway in the shadow as Medusa, because this profession can be gorgeous yet violent. To survive, we must play both parts, but the voyeur only looks one side in the eye.

Amongst the modern audience, victimization and its imminent threat in the sex work industry have no tolerance. Elect our cinema to rewrite mythical trauma; sanitize the gorgon out of comfort; replace her survival with a mythical peace; erase the symbol of her immeasurable strength because we don’t want to know how she earned it.

Nevertheless, the world of sex work remains indifferent.

Every day, they persist in controversial existence because they must. Should they hide their experiences that appear regressive against their will? Is it better to falsify the relationship between sex work and violence to preserve the safety of the cinema? Is it best for you that they exclude survival even though they need it?

STILETTO mercilessly answers no.

As a depiction of cathartic retribution, this film is about:

- duality given the freedom to unify
- survival rewarded the exhibition of justice

You’re invited to see what happens when we reject the exploitative gaze.

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