God Save My Shoes

God Save My Shoes

As seen in GOD SAVE MY SHOES, a film by Julie Benasra. Photo by Victoria De La Torre. Picture courtesy Caid Productions. All rights reserved.

God Save My Shoes


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God Save My Shoes (2011/2012)

Opened: 03/30/2012 Limited

Quad Cinema/NYC03/30/2012 - 04/05/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated


"God Save My Shoes" is the first documentary film to explore the intimate relationship women have with their shoes.

To understand how shoes have come to hold such a pivotal place in pop culture, sexuality and women's lives, God Save my Shoes turned to many of those who play a role in the global shoe phenomenon: Extreme shoe lovers, fashion historians and editors, psychologists, sex experts, shoe fetishists, and star designers Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Walter Steiger, Pierre Hardy, Bruno Frisoni, and Robert Clergerie, along with such celebrities as Fergie, Kelly Rowland and Dita Von Teese.

With its psychological, sociocultural, and erotic take--from ancient elevated soles to today's skyscraping stilettos, from Marilyn Monroe to Sex & the City--God Save my Shoes brings an offbeat and captivating answer to the universally puzzling relationship between women and their shoes.

Director's Statement

I was somewhat puzzled when two years ago Thierry (of CAID Productions) asked me to direct "God Save My Shoes." I thought "of course women love their shoes but just as much as they love clothing, bags or jewelry..." I did not yet realize the important role shoes held in a woman's life. I didn't yet know that this tiny object carried more symbolism and significance than any other piece of clothing or accessory we put on our body?

Along my research, I was absolutely fascinated by these women who spoke of their shoes as if they were a loved one. A few days later, I decided to take my research into my own closet. Seriously?! I have over 50 pairs?! I had never even considered myself as a cliche "shoe-gal"! Was I unknowingly harboring my own weakness for shoes?

Who better to turn to in understanding the hypnotic allure of shoes than women themselves? Why so many? Why so much? Why does that shoe-high feeling suddenly skyrocket when buying a new pair? Why do some women say shoes are better than sex? How do they feel, physically and emotionally, when slipping into high-heels the goddess of all shoes?

No distance could have kept me from capturing the universal scope of this shoe phenomenon. Traveling to locations such as Florence, Milan, Paris, Toronto, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Romans-sur-Isere to meet with many of the top players of the shoe industry. The drawback to that was that I had to adapt to a local crew anywhere I went. But at each location, we did our best to recruit a girl-only crew: keeping true to creating a film about women by women.

Sexy rock beats resonated in my mind all throughout shooting. I was determined to fuel the film with the perfect musical compliment. Thanks to Thierry and the CAID Productions team who understood that all too well, the original "God Save My Shoes" soundtrack was composed and recorded in New York.

As for me, after going through over a hundred hours of footage, as well as driving my producer and editors crazy, I finally understood that this film was weaving a parallel between women's shoes, Womanhood, and the condition of women as a whole -- thus revealing the pivotal role shoes have played in pop culture, sexuality and women's lives. It is a far-reaching matter that we treated with a sprinkle of sarcasm and much affection.

Since then, I haven't slipped into a pair of shoes the same way again; and I hope you won't either.

-- Julie Benasra

Producer's Statement

"God Save My Shoes" is the result of an original idea, as well as a friendship.

This idea came from a need to understand the obsessive nature that certain objects can hold on some people; to the point that some of them even become modern cultural fetishes. The shoe seems to have that magical power on many of us. It generates a compulsive need to buy-a frenzy leading to obsession sometimes. I have often wondered why.

As a pop culture addict that's been in New York for over 20 years I discovered hip-hop in the late 80's in Harlem and then Brooklyn, where I currently live.

In 2005, I produced the first documentary that features the history of sneakers and Hip Hop entitled "Just For Kicks." The story follows how sport shoes born in the playgrounds of New York later became a symbol of style for a generation. "Just For Kicks" was produced in collaboration with Canal Plus and SpikeTV. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005 and won 3 Best Documentary Awards in international festivals. The film was featured in the US & Canada (Spike TV), in South America (MTV Latin America), in Australia and NZ (Warner), in Europe (Canal+, Studio Canal,), and was released in theatres in Japan in May 2007.

In 2007, still captivated by these urban shoe collectors, I was suddenly struck by the obvious: these moguls of hip-hop and sneakers were overpowered by their wives when it came to shoes!

More intense and complex, "the relationship between women and their shoes" was much more surprising than anything I had explored before. The more I asked my friends to tell me about their shoes and the further I looked in their closets, the more I discovered an intense phenomenon that is culturally universal yet still unexplained. By definition: a real treasure for the producer that I am.

I then pitched the project to Julie Benasra, who was to turn this project into a film.

I realized that it was essential to entrust this project to someone who can understand that intense emotion and be able to express a feeling common in feminine culture. Only a talented and sexy woman could write, direct and give birth to a film that would directly speak to women.

I have known Julie BENASRA for over 10 years and we have worked together on several occasions. In addition, we are very close friends who share a true complicity in intellectual interests, , and a true understanding of each other.

Sometimes, especially when working on a creative project, it is almost a telepathic connection.

From the start Julie understood the potential and the depth of that subject. She immediately started working very hard accumulating research, contacts and interviews. She quickly transformed into the heart and blood of the film.

Thanks to Canal Plus in France, who trusted us from the get go (US had refused initial talks), we began pre-production in New York on June 2010. While filming in Italy, France, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto presented several challenges, the involvement of Julie and our production team in New York made it possible to complete production within our original financial plan. We realized how fascinating this film would be when stars of the shoe, fashion, and music industry agreed to participate.

The product of our adventure is a documentary film that is funny, quirky, sexy, international, and cultural. This is not a film that takes itself seriously, but for the first time the amazing relationship that ties women to their shoes is explained. I hope you'll be as passionate about the film as I am.

-- Thierry Daher

Filmmaker Biographies

Julie Benasra (Writer/Director)

In 2009, Julie served as first assistant director, line producer, researcher and journalist for a Sony Music / VisionTV documentary series: "European Music Legends". The 9-part series featured the portrayal of some of Europe's most renowned bands and singers such as: Trust, Hubert-Felix Thiefaine, Pierre Bachelet, Joe Dassin, Gino Paoli, Rino Gaetano, Giusy Ferreri, Vaya Con Dios, and K's Choice (Genoa, Verona, Rome, Milan, Belgrade, Paris, Brussels, London). Her interviewees included such personalities as Angus Young (AC / DC), Bernie Bonvoisin, Benabar, Claude Lemesle, Dave, Hugues Auffray, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Jean Becker, Jean-Jacques Debout, Jean-Michel Borris, Jean-Pierre Foucault, Just Jaecquin, Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Monique Le Marcis, Nana Mouskouri, Norbert Krief, Michel Fugain, Philipe Lavil, Renzo Piano, Vincent Perrot, Yves Rousset- Rouard, Zucchero among many others.

Julie was also a freelance writer and researcher for Luxe TV (2007-2009), Arrets sur Image (2006), VOYAGES (2004), and directed a corporate film for Alcatel-Lucent (2007).

Julie lived in New York until 2006, where she did freelance writing and PR for French and American companies based in New York. When she returned to France, honing on her linguistic skills, she transitioned to translating films and documentaries, working with companies such as: France Televisions, Groupe AB, Elephant & Cie, Peninsula Films, MK2, Nelka Films, Elzevir Films, FilmFuture productions, CAPA TV, Gemini Films, M6, MFP and many more. Eventually leading her to work on films by such filmmakers as Christophe Honore, Julien Seri, Brett Ratner and Dennis Hopper.

Julie began working with CAID Productions in 2005; she served as writer, producer, and translator on films such as: "Way of the B-Boy" (2008), "Any Given Tuesday in Brooklyn" (2009), "Just for Kicks" (2005). She also participated in the creative development of a viral marketing campaign for Disney (2009).

Julie studied journalism at Fordham University. She now lives in Paris.

Thierry Daher (Producer)

Thierry Daher is the Executive Producer and Producer of "God Save My Shoes"(WWW.GODSAVEMYSHOES. COM). Born and raised in Marseilles, France, Thierry had studied in France, the US, and Japan, before moving to New York in 1990.

In 2003, Thierry founded Caid Productions, a New York-based creative boutique that combines creative services, film production, and online marketing expertise. Thierry draws on his passion for film and documentaries, combining it with an original creative acumen that is backed by over 15 years experience in digital marketing. As a result Caid Productions creates innovative and groundbreaking content at the crossroads of creative pop culture, brand's history, and fashion: high entertainment value programs fit for today's multiplicity of screens and audiences via TV, web and mobile.

In 2003 Caid Productions began a two year production of "Just For Kicks" (WWW.JUSTFORKICKS.TV), the first documentary film featuring the history of sneakers and hip hop; it was released in the US in 2006. The film is an analysis of the global pop culture sneakers phenomena through interviews of world-renown collectors, Hip-Hop pioneers, industry players, rap stars, journalists, brand marketers and other sneaker addicts. "Just For Kicks" became a multi-award winning documentary that has been seen by over 50 million viewers worldwide (SpikeTV, Canal Plus, MTV Japan, Globosat Brazil, SBS Australia...)

Caid Productions also produced the "Way Of The B-Boy" (2008 -- 2009), a Best Music Documentary at the 2009 NY independent Film & Video Festival. It was featured on MTV in the US in August 2009. "Any Given Tuesday in Brooklyn", a short documentary that takes place in Brooklyn on Election Day 2008 was also completed in 2009.

Thierry's work however is also defined by offbeat campaigns, web series, and online viral videos; all created, written, produced, and promoted by Caid Productions. In 2008, Thierry and Caid created and launched a viral video for Disney that reached more than 9 millions web users in less than 6 months, through on viral spread alone. In 2009, 700,000 Internet users were are engaged in a month-long national broadcast and TV follow for the charity campaign championed by Lands' End. In 2008, during the U.S presidential election, the Paltalk campaign reached over 9.5 million U.S. Internet users, was relayed by nearly 5,000 blogs on the Internet, the U.S. television (Fox News and MSNBC) and the U.S. national press. Pfizer, Bic USA, Canson-Oxford, LifeLock, Howcast / Kodak ; Passionata and Shustir. com are some ofDaher and Caid Productions' other clients.

Creative profession aside, Thierry is also an avid skydiver (over 400 jumps) as well as a marathon runner (New York Marathon 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007). He is also active in several charities including funding for the research against cancer and palliative care funding.

Interview Profiles

Anne Hugo / Script Writer / Paris

Parisian writer Anne Hugo is a true "shoe addict. Surrounded by pumps, and boots, and stilettos, and boxes, the shoes she wears define her mood.

Baroness Monica Von Neumann / Los Angeles

Widow of an Austrian baron, a philanthropist, and also capable of spending $5,000 on a pair of boots, the Baroness is one of the most eccentric and endearing characters of the film.

Beth Shak / Professional Poker Player / Pennsylvania

A professional poker player, Shak possesses the largest personal collection of shoes shown in the film: more than 900 pairs! A treasure that she hasn't been able to measure-either financially or emotionally.

Bruno Frisoni / Shoe Creator / Artistic Director of the House of Roger Vivier / Paris

The artistic director is considered one of the most talented designers in the world of fashion. For him, the art of shoes goes beyond design. It's architecture.

Caroline de Fayet / Senior Accessories Editor ELLE / Paris

French ELLE's senior accessories editor Caroline de Fayet gives her fashion take on women's obsession for shoes.

Christian Louboutin / Shoe Designer / Paris

Christian Louboutin is considered THE shoe magician, thanks to his red-soled shoes and towering stilettos that women across the globe idolize. From his Paris studio, holding a patent stiletto or drawing pencil, Louboutin share his designer insight on fetishism and heel height.

Dita Von Teese / Burlesque Dancer / Los Angeles/Paris

Sassy and sexy, Dita Von Teese reveals her love of heels; and their importance in female eroticism.

Elizabeth Semmelhack / Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum / Toronto

The curator of Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum opens the doors to one of the world's largest shoes collections - 10,000 pairs of shoes -- which houses the highest shoe ever worn by a woman. She makes a historical parallel between the evolution of woman's image and the different types of heeled soles.

Fergie / Singer / Black Eyed Peas

From the world famous hip-hop band, the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie wears 7 inches heels on-stage!

Filipa Fino / Consultant / Former Vogue's Senior Accessories Editor / New York

Vogue's senior accessories editor, Filipa Fino, gives a fashion and feminine outlook on women's obsession for shoes. Giving us a preview into Vogue's New York shoe closet, one that's coveted by all shoe lovers.

Janet Berardi / Businesswoman / New Jersey

The American businesswoman with 300 pairs in her closet. A closet designed around her shoes.

Jayme Albin / Psychologist / New York

American cognitive behavior therapist who believes that shoes rhymes with sexuality.

Kelly Rowland / Singer / New York

The American pop star and former Destiny's Child member, Rowland candidly confesses her love for shoes, going as far as calling them her babies.

Laya Rahman / Shoe Designer / Paris

Designer and founder of Cindy Glass

Laurent Giraud / Editor-in-Chief / Playboy and FHM / Paris

Manolo Blahnik / Shoe Designer / London

An unconventional character, Manolo Blahnik was the one who revived the very high heel shoes in the 70s. Experimental and traditionalist, he does everything himself. His eyes sparkle when he hears the word stiletto.

Marshal Cohen / Sr Market Analyst / NPD Group / New York

Senior analyst, Marshall Cohen explains the magnitude of the footwear market and the share women hold in the pie.

Marie-Agnes Gillot / Prima Ballerina / Opera de Paris

From her dressing room and her dance studio at Paris Opera Marie-Agnes Gillot tells us how she can go from the tip of her toes to the height of her heels.

Mary Lou Quinlan / Marketing Consultant / New York

Mary Lou Quinlan transports us from the unreasonable demonstration of affection for her shoes to the (self) analysis of women's obsession for shoes.

Meghan Cleary / Author / New York/Los Angeles

Shoe expert and author of "Shoe are You?"

Michael Nitis / Manager of the Christian Louboutin Boutique / New York

Midori / Fetish expert / Toronto

According to former fetish diva Midori, high-heel shoes and eroticism go hand in hand.

Nikki Schiro / Artist / New York

New York artist Nikki Schiro confesses just how far a shoe affair can take you.

Pierre Hardy / Shoe Designer / Paris

Considered a shoe genius, Pierre Hardy is the former creative director at Hermes and Balenciaga. Now creates under his own brand.

Robert Clergerie / Shoe Designer / Romans

Designer and the last remaining manufacturer in France's shoe capital: Romans-sur-Isere.

Serge Hefez / Psychoanalyst / Paris

Serge Hefez makes a Freudian analysis of the erotic ties between shoes and feet (from a French perspective...).

Shequida Hall / Drag queen / New York

Shequida Hall completed her transformation from man to woman with a pair of heels.

Sophie Bramly / Female sexuality expert / Paris

Female sexuality expert Sophie Bramly reveals how women's emancipation, sexuality, and power are intimately linked with the shoes they wear.

Suzanne Levine / Orthopedist Surgeon / New York

Valerie Steele / Fashion historian and curator of the Museum at The Fashion Institute / New York

Fashion historian and curator of the Museum at The Fashion Institute of New York, Valerie provides a captivating insight on fashion and fetishism.

Walter Steiger / Shoe Designer / Paris

Originally from Switzerland, Walter Steiger began making shoes with his father, a ski boot shoemaker. Steiger however was destined for women's shoes -- especially the ones with high-heels, which singers enjoy sporting on stage. Steiger himself is surprised at how they are able to dance in heels.