New Mexico Supreme Court sides with Pornotopia Film Festival and Free Speech
Pornotopia Film Festival won. The NM State Supreme Court decided in a 4-1 decision that The Guild Cinema & Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center have a right to host Pornotopia Film Festival. The court was clear: hosting one erotic film festival, on one weekend of the year does not make the Guild an “adult amusement establishment,” just like a club that plays jazz music once a year would not become a “jazz club.” This ruling guarantees that Self Serve and The Guild Cinema can carry out their festival without fearing that free speech will be abridged. Self Serve is already planning the next PORNOTOPIA UNCENSORED festival.
The Pornotopia Film Festival was a well-attended film festival in Albuquerque from 2007 to 2009. As Director & Self Serve Co-Owner Matie Fricker explains, “Despite its controversy, Pornotopia has received overwhelming community support for being a festival whose aim is to change the way people see sexuality portrayed in film.” She adds, “Much like the environment at our shop Self Serve, Pornotopia featured films promoting a positive, educational and empowering erotic experience.”
In 2008, the Guild Cinema was cited with a zoning violation for showing an erotic film. Today the court reversed that citation. In overturning the lower courts’ ruling, the Supreme Court concluded, “Because the Guild engaged in only occasional showings of adult films, the Guild is not an adult amusement establishment as defined in the Albuquerque Code of Ordinances…”
Self Serve thanks to the ACLU of New Mexico, the Guild Cinema, supportive Nob Hill neighbors and all the volunteers who helped create Pornotopia Film Festival.