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OutTakes Film Fest rests in '08, back in '09

Fri 29 Feb 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

The organisers of New Zealand's annual LGBT film festival Out Takes say their organisation is not in a strong enough financial position to run a full festival in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch this year. Instead, special film screenings throughout the year will be held to raise funds for Out Takes 2009. Festival spokesperson Simon Fulton says a lack of funding plus " declining ticket sales and increased costs over the last couple of years, along with a dwindling number of committee members available to run the events" have left the Out Takes festival "in need of more funding and sponsorship to continue." Reel Queer Inc, the Wellington-based volunteer group which has organised the annual film festival since 1995, is now endeavouring to offer special film evenings throughout 2008. Date and venues of these screenings are yet to be determined, but the first is likely to be this April. "We feel it is very important for the queer community to have access to queer films," Fulton says. "So we plan to run three or four special events in 2008 where we'll screen a current feature film. We envisage these will be like a festival Opening Night – entertainment, drinks, socialising and of course watching the film – and we all know how much more enjoyable it is to watch an LGBT film on the big screen with a full cinema than watching a DVD at home." Proceeds from the screenings will be used to build a fund for the operational costs of a 2009 festival. Sponsors/donors are required to make these film evenings a success and to cover the costs of putting them on – for example, the international freight costs of a 35mm film print (up to $1,500) and the film hire fee ($1,000 to $2,000). Volunteers from each city are also needed to help organise the events. Reel Queer also needs committed, enthusiastic people to join its dwindling team in a variety of roles. "It's a lot of hard work all year," Fulton admits, "but very rewarding. We really need advertising and sponsorship coordinators, event coordinators to assist or run film screening events, admin and accounts people and web/print designers who have experience with print production. "All these roles are voluntary and have been done by Reel Queer members while they also hold down full-time jobs or run their own businesses. So if there's anyone interested in helping out then let me know." Fulton says Reel Queer is committed to making the best of LGBT cinema from around the world available to our NZ communities with future Out Takes Film Festivals, "but we have to explore ways to make it financially viable. "There are still so many diverse Queer films that do not get a NZ release, even on DVD, and others that are released here and poorly marketed to Queer people. We think it would be a real shame if the community lost this event." Reel Queer Inc. can be reached via email at:    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 29th February 2008 - 12:11am

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