On Friday night in Europe, the Kiwi feel-good film had its international premiere at a time when much of its presumed target audience would be in bed: 10.30pm.
The predominantly young audience of three or four hundred seemed just as delighted by the film as its NZ audiences have been. Clearly they would have been happy for the shortish Q&A which followed to go on longer despite it being closer to 1am than midnight when things wrapped up.
Director Bryn Evans (whom the Dutch moderator kept referring to and addressing as Bryan) seemed surprisingly relaxed, given that this audience should be the first to approach the film without the publicity hoop-la that has accompanied the group of 30 or so elderly dancers (ages 66 to 94) and their film in NZ.
Turns out that the day before, he’d stumbled upon a non-public industry day hosted by the Dutch TV network VPro in which Hip Hop-eration was one of ten films chosen from the total festival selection for screening to a private audience of around a thousand people. Bryn was able to sneak in the back door and stand at the back (there not being a single empty seat) to gauge the reaction, which was reportedly hugely enthusiastic.
Hip Hop-eration had also bee noted as one of IDFA’s music docos to watch
Bryn, Producer Paula Jones and Executive Producer Alex Lee (an IDFA jurist in 2012) took part in the Q&A, which, as with almost all festival Q&As in NZ – but not usually at IDFA – suffered from being poorly-lit and with the sound orchestrated by a mixer who failed to recognize that 10% of any audience suffers from some degree of auditory impairment.
An audience member did ask the question that everyone wants to but few are apparently willing to do – has any of the dancers died since the film was made? No, Bryn told us, not one – in fact the group are presently performing in Taiwan. A nicely celebratory finish to a evening with a message of the benefits of living life to the fullest right to the end.