Permission to Touch


Rafael 2 Wed, Oct 14, 2015 8:45 PM
Throckmorton Theatre Sat, Oct 17, 2015 7:45 PM
Film Info
Section:US Cinema
Running Time:101 min
Premiere Status:World
Director:Rob Nilsson
Producer:Rob Nilsson
John Stout
Jonathan Marlow
Screenwriter:Rob Nilsson
Cinematographer:Chris Damm
Galina Pasternak
Vincent Leddy
Editor:Joel Simone
Ryan Leaneagh
Cast:T. Moon
Rob Nilsson
Shannah Laumeister
Vincent Leddy
Denny Dey
Michelle Anton Allen
Print Source:Citizen Cinema
Note Writer:KD Davis


Internationally renowned for his signature style, the emotionally intense, character-driven approach known as Direct Action Cinema, director Rob Nilsson (Bridge to a Border, MVFF 2014; A Leap to Take, MVFF 2013) spins the camera 180 degrees to focus upon a fictional facsimile of himself in Permission to Touch, reprising the lead role of photojournalist Mel Hurley from his 1987 Sundance Grand Jury prizewinning film Heat and Sunlight. Now 30 years older, Hurley is asked to put his unique vision at the service of Funmi Marlowe, a sensuous and sybaritic young female performance artist (a pitch-perfect T. Moon) who requisitions his services but is not content to merely submit herself to his gaze. The result is a thoroughly provocative mix of reality, fiction, spontaneity, and intelligent scripting that shapes itself into a deeply meaningful dialogue on the intimate erotics of filmmaking and the power of the image in front of and behind the screen.

Additional Information

Rob Nilsson is a San Francisco writer, actor, director, painter, and poet who won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for his feature film Northern Lights (1979) and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for Heat and Sunlight (1988). He is the first American film director to have won both awards. He is the creator of the Direct Action style of digital filmmaking, originally taught in the Tenderloin yGroup Actor’s Ensemble, San Francisco and now the Citizen Cinema Player’s Ensemble, Berkeley and in workshops around the world. In recent years he has received retrospectives and/or lifetime achievement awards at MVFF, Fargo International Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive, Chicago Institute of Art, Resfest, Digital Talkies Festival, .MOV Festival, Cinemanila, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Silver Lake Film Festival, Kansas City Filmmaker's Jubilee, St. Louis International Film Festival, Syracuse International Film Festival, Golden Apricot International Film Festival, and Moscow International Film Festival.