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Queer as festival opens tomorrow

Out Takes opens its doors in Auckland tomorrow, offering a broad selection titles from overseas and a couple of local shorts, Kelsey Sutcliffe’s The Maids and Robyn Paterson’s Queer Selfies.

The Maids kicks off the festival, screening on the opening night in Auckland ahead of Michelle Ehlen’s feature Heterosexual Jill. Sutcliffe will present the film, which is something she’s looking forward to.

The film is Sutcliffe’s final piece from South Seas and was shot – and posted – in October last year. It was made with a wholly student cast and crew from South Seas. Sutcliffe is naturally proud of the film, for which she and producer Aleisha Norcross had decided early on to target Out Takes as a festival at which to premiere the film.

The Maids

The Maids opens Out Takes 2014

Out Takes is the film’s only confirmed screening at present, although the team will be seeking other opportunities to get it seen. Unlike many screen course graduates, Sutcliffe doesn’t have a lot of free time to spend hunting down festivals and making submissions. She’s been working for a production house doing primarily TVC work since completing here time at South Seas.

In contrast with Out Takes debutante Sutcliffe, Paterson is something of a serial offender. Two of her previous shorts have screened in the festival, Disposable and Straight Hike for the Butch Dyke, which took the Out Takes Audience Award.

Two years ago Paterson’s documentary Finding Mercy played Doc Edge (which also opens its 2014 edition Auckland this week. Mercy took home Doc Edge’s Best Cinematography and Best Emerging Filmmaker gongs.

Queer Selfies was made as part of the Loading Docs scheme, funded by the NZFC and NZ On Air’s Ignite Digital Media Fund. Loading Docs has its world premiere screening – of its 10 three-minute titles – next week. Queer Selfies makes its Out Takes appearance a few days later, screening with Gary Entin’s Geography Club.

Paterson’s producer and partner Paula Boock said Loading Docs had given the pair an opportunity to work together, to focus on queer-specific material, and to learn more about working in the digital space.

Boock has had considerable success in “conventional” TV through Lippy Pictures with (business) partner Donna Malane. They’ve had plenty of critical and award love for tele-features including Until Proven Innocent, Tangiwai and the recent Field Punishment No.1.

Boock explained that Loading Docs had offered good opportunities to explore the digital arena – through crowdfunding part of the budget, building and engaging with communities and online presentation and distribution – without having to get bogged down by any of the tech.

Boock noted that the queer community was very good at supporting its members and that had helped Queer Selfies. There was a very clear target market with which to engage and a number of established pathways, both digital and real world, to follow to engage with that community.

Queer Selfies

Queer Selfies

Now that the film is complete, Out Takes becomes the first of those real world pathways. Boock and Paterson will be submitting the film to other queer festivals internationally. And, since three-minute long docos don’t pay many bills, they’ll be continuing with other projects too.

Paterson has been working with Attitude Pictures. Lippy Pictures has completed Pirates of the Airwaves, which traverses similar territory to the recent 3 Mile Limit, and has in development a feature adaptation of Kate De Goldi’s award-winning 2009 book The 10pm Question.

Out Takes runs 22 My – 4 June at Rialto in Auckland; 29 May – 12 June at the Paramount, Wellington; and 12 – 15 June at the Hollywood, Sumner.

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