Leicester Red Project

Who Do You Think We Are?

The Leicester Red Project is a six week season that aims to raise awareness around the stereotypical and stigmatizing representations of sex workers.

The Details


Irina Palm (15)

Middle-aged Maggie must find a way to get enough money for her grandson’s lifesaving medical treatment. When a ‘Hostess Wanted’ sign catches her eye, Maggie naively stumbles into a city sex club. Shy Maggie has a rough start at ‘Sexy World’, more than just a train ride from her conservative suburb.

Normal (15)

Normal is creative documentary based on original anthropological research on the relationship between migration, the sex industry and sex trafficking. The film brings the real life stories of male, female and transgender migrants working in the sex industry to the screen.

Marriage Italian Style (Matrimonio all’italiana)


In Naples, in the Second World War, the businessman Domenico Soriano meets the seventeen years old prostitute Filumena Marturano (Sophia Loren) in a brothel during an allied bombing. Flash forward to the post-war years, and the two meet again, sparking a passionate affair that spans two decades.

The Mouth of the Wolf (La bocca del lupo)


Multi-award winning Pietro Marcello’s feature documentary unfolds a beautiful love story between Mary and Enzo who have been waiting and wanting each other since they first met behind bars. Set in the Italian port town of Genoa, the film is a tribute to love and to the city.

Rocco and His Brothers (Rocco e I suoi fratelli)


A controversial masterpiece. A sterile sense of male honour leads to violence and death. Recently immigrated to Milan from southern Italy, Rocco and his brothers seek for a better future when a young disenchanted woman enters in their lives.

Personal Services


Waitress and single mother, Christine struggles to make ends meet. She thus decides first to prostitutes herself and then, with a business-like, practical turn of mind, opens what will become a successful brothel. Inspired by a true story.


Speakers and Guests

Alex Feis-Bryce

Director of Services - National Ugly Mugs Scheme. Alex started running the National Ugly Mugs Scheme (NUM) in 2012, is a member of the National Police Working Group on Prostitution, and has published in academic journals and the press. He is a Trustee/Board Member for Survivors Manchester, working with male victims of sexual assault and child sexual exploitation, and Manchester Action on Street Health, which supports female street sex workers.


Porpora Marcasciano

Porpora Marcasciano, former activist of the Italian LGBT movement, is currently the president of MIT (Transsexual Identity Movement) founded in 1981. As sociologist, she carries out research on the history and sociology of transsexualism. She is author of several publications on this theme.

Maria Pia Covre

Maria Pia Covre is a sex worker, vice-president of the Committee for Prostitutes Civil Rights, and activist in the field of Human Rights, discrimination and trafficking in human beings. Since 1992, she has been national coordinator for the European project Tampep (European Network for HIV/STI Prevention and Health Promotion among Migrant Sex Workers). She is currently member of international, national and regional boards focused on sex work.

Georgina Perry

Georgina has over twenty years of experience in health service development and associated research, training and consultancy in both the UK and internationally. She is recognised for her leadership, advocacy and pioneering approach to meeting the diverse range of needs experienced by sex workers. Since 2003 she has been Service Manager for Open Doors in East London, one of the leading outreach, clinical and case management services for sex workers in the UK and currently holds the position of chair for The United Kingdom Network of Sex Work Projects and National Ugly Mugs. She works regularly with Central Government to address complex social exclusion issues that affect marginalised people.

Professor Steve Chibnall

Steve is believed to be the only Professor of British Cinema in the world, and is one of the UK’s senior film historians.  He is director of DMU’s Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre. He has written or edited ten books, published dozens of articles and book chapters, featured on television and radio over a long career and currently contributes sleeve notes and commentary moderations to DVD releases by Odeon Entertainment and the BFI.  He is Visiting Professor at The Cinema Museum in London and co-series editor for Routledge’s British Popular Cinema series.

Miranda Kane

Miranda Kane was a London based sex-worker for seven years. At the time, she weighed over 300lb, making her story of being the Largest Sex-Work in the UK a fairly unique one! She became a stand-up comedian two years ago and now performs her five star, sell-out comedy 'The Coin-Operated Girl' across the UK. She was the winner for the Cheltenham New Act of the Year 2014 and Semi-Finalist for ‘Funny Women’ in 2014. She has had sold out shows at Just The Tonic, Marlborough Theatre and Hull Truck theatre. Her Edinburgh shows have been left with standing room only.

You can find more information at www.mirandakane.co.uk and www.coinoperatedgirl.co.uk

Dr. Oliver Brett

Oliver’s research interests centre on French and Italian cinema, particularly documentary cinema and representations of gender, sexuality, identity and performance. Oliver is developing his research profile and teaches on French and Italian cinema modules within the School of Modern Languages at the University of Leicester where he obtained his PhD in 2014.

Maria Morelli

Maria Morelli is completing her PhD in Italian Studies at the University of Leicester, where she is also teaching a number of literary and language modules. Her doctoral research project focuses on Italian contemporary women writers and draws on feminist and queer studies to investigate the questioning and deconstructing of traditional notions of gender and sexuality at play in their works She was recipient of the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship for Italian at Wheaton College (Massachusetts) for the year 2013/2014. She has recently published a book chapter on writer Elsa Morante, and she is currently working on an interview with writer Dacia Maraini and translating one of her short stories for publication.

Interpreter for Pia Covre

Professor Sharon Wood

Sharon Wood is Emeritus Professor in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Leicester. She has published a number of books  on gender and literature in Italy, and has also translated novels, plays and essays from both Italian and Spanish. Her recent translation of Dacia Maraini’s Hurried Steps is regularly performed around the country.