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Quick decision after

Wed 30 May 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

After a technical fault meant a selection of short film screenings could not be completed, an audience at the Auckland ‘Out Takes' Film Festival last night was asked to make a snap decision of a replacement film to view. The ‘International Male' collection of short films included screenings on 35mm film, DVD and Beta-SP tapes. But upon finding a fault with the Beta-SP machine, four of the scheduled films played out of order, and then the house lights went up after only 45 minutes of viewing. Projectionist Stephen Bolter then spoke to the audience of around 50 people, explaining that the Beta machine had failed and there were no more material on DVD or film in the evening's schedule. He then asked for film festival volunteers at the screening to come forward to decide what action should be taken. “Stephen suggested we screen another DVD to fill in as we'd only had 45 minutes of films shown so far,” says one of the Festival volunteers on duty that evening. “We decided between us to put options to the audience and let them decide.” The only two available options were presented – a Brazilian documentary about transgender sex workers called ‘Living Day to Day', and an explicit look at the sex life of a porn star couple, called ‘Damon and Hunter: Doing it Together'. Short descriptions of the films were read out. Murmurings from the largely male audience appeared to agree on showing the ‘Damon and Hunter' film – a “hard-core love story” which contained explicit sex scenes throughout. “We told the audience the film was explicit, and to leave the cinema if this kind of thing bothers you," says the volunteer. “A few people left the cinema at that point, and then I noticed a few leave during the screening.” Most stayed for the 46-minute documentary showing a male adult-star couple talking about their sex lives. The film ended with a ten-minute explicit sex scene. Many in the remaining audience applauded at the ‘climax' to the showing. Auckland Out Takes organiser David Reeves says the fault was unfortunate, and is today ensuring the Beta machine is fixed or replaced so there are no future faults. Arrangements will also be made to compensate those who were dissatisfied by the change of schedule. “These things sometimes happen because we make an effort to include the widest possible selection of films from all around the world on different formats,” he tells “It's disappointing, as the nature of the festival means we only get one shot at presenting each film.” A screening at last year's festival in Auckland was also affected by a fault. A replacement screening was arranged for 430 people after a copy of ‘Loving Annabelle' which had arrived at very short notice from an international distributor ‘froze' mid-way through its screening and could not be restarted. The ‘Out Takes' Film Festival continues in Auckland until this Sunday 3rd June. The Festival begins in Wellington tomorrow evening at the Paramount Theatre, and starts in Christchurch on 7th June at the Regent on Worcester Theatre.     Ref: (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 30th May 2007 - 12:00pm

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