CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Earlier this year, performer Kurt Rogers and mainstream director Ross Winters founded Cape Town, South Africa’s first gay porn studio. Liberate Studios’ first film, Rogered!, will be released by Pacific Sun Entertainment in July.
Employing primarily South African talent, the studio plans to cater to gay tastes from twinks to muscle hunks and bears. According to Rogers and Winters, the climate, the scenery and the largely untapped talent pool in Cape Town will give Liberate’s (NSFW) films a unique atmosphere, and Winters’ experience directing advertising pieces, films and music videos props up productions with dedication to craft excellence. Then, too, Rogers said his experience as a model for several European gay studios gives the partners insight into the types of productions consumers seek.
Recently Rogers sat down for a chat with Pacific Sun (NSFW) Marketing and Production Director Michael LaBarbera for a chat about his career and Liberate Studios’ vision.
LaBarbera: How did you get into the gay adult movie business?
Rogers: I have been working in the sex industry for many years as an escort. Many studios approached me to do porn for them, but for years I did not want the exposure. Being an escort is a lot more private and less public than being a porn actor. I was kidding myself, thinking not many people knew about my escorting, especially the folks back home in South Africa. Once I realized most people in the gay community knew, the penny dropped and acting in porn movies became a very liberating experience.
LaBarbera: You had a successful career as a model in Europe. Why return to South Africa and form your own studio?
Rogers: My interest moved from just being an actor to also getting involved behind the camera. Although I had a lot of experience as an actor, I did not know much about filmmaking apart from what I obviously saw and picked up while on set. After spending time in London, I decided to move back to Cape Town, with the idea of starting my own porn studio. But where and how to start? As fate would have it, I was introduced to Ross [Winters] and his wife Ella, who had the same venture in mind. We soon discovered that there was practically no porn industry in South Africa apart from some amateur attempts, and there was definitely a gap in the market for something new and exciting.
LaBarbera: Starting a new business venture is always risky, and that must be doubly true when the global economy takes a nose dive. Weren’t you concerned about that?
Rogers: South Africa is big news worldwide at the moment — politically, economically and socially, and also with the focus on the soccer World Cup 2010 being hosted here. This is the golden opportunity for us to create a porn industry in this country of immense diversity and possibility. Of course we had concerns regarding such an industry, especially with the global economic climate. In order to appeal to the widest audience, in the long term we aim to cater to pretty much all tastes, from bears to twinks. Our opinion: In times of trouble, what do most people turn to? Drugs, booze and sex.
LaBarbera: Both you and Winters have said South Africa has a lot to offer fans of gay adult entertainment. What do you see as Liberate Studios’ biggest advantages?
Rogers: South Africa has so much to offer; especially for us aiming to really establish a porn industry here. We have very sexy men, new talent, amazing settings to shoot awesome scenes and fantastic weather. The Afrikaans guys especially have an excellent reputation for being incredibly hot and hung, and there is a demand and hunger for something completely new and original. Liberate Studios wants to give the world a taste of all of the above, and in doing so we want to give it to you in the highest quality — and quantity of course. We want to put the best of South Africa in your hands. Whether our viewers like muscle jocks, twinks, bears, leather men or the guy next door, we will satisfy every taste and more. And the best part of all is we have fun doing it.
Rogered! features an international cast including Rogers, South African Jed Wilcox and Frenchman Nic James. Trailers and galleries are available online (definitely NSFW).