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Reel Queer festival out and about

The excellent Out Takes Film Festival held the launch of its 19th edition on Thursday evening at Ponsonby Road’s recently-renamed Pop Bar.

The launch shared a programme which, not unlike this year’s Doc Edge Festival, brings a lot of Americans to screens. The programme was selected from over 500 submissions and offers a strong mix of 35 features and 30+ shorts, including a pair of local shorts.

Queer Selfies

Queer Selfies

Paula Boock and Robyn Paterson’s Big Gay Out-shot Loading Docs title, Queer Selfies, will screen in the festival. The short short, coming in at about the three minutes Loading Docs suggested, plays ahead of Gary Entin’s adaptation of Brent Hartinger’s Geography Club.

The other NZ short is Kelsey Sutcliffe’s The Maids (2013), which screens with Michelle Ehlin’s lightly “pray away the gay”-themed feature Heterosexual Jill, one of the festival’s Opening Night films in Auckland.

Heterosexual Jill trailer

Elsewehre in the programme, the far less amusing end of the “pray away the gay” approach to homosexuality is addressed in Kate Logan’s Kidnapped for Christ.

The launch drew a select turn out including faces familiar in both the LBGT and filmmaking communities, including former Nga Aho Whakaari chair Mika.

Of the trailers screened at the launch, Auckland’s second opening night title GBF was one of several well-received selections. The launch’s celebrity guest, Mr Gay NZ Troy Williams, introduced the title as “a gayer version of Mean Girls – if that’s possible.”

G.B.F. trailer

While both those titles play with stereotypical images of homosexuality and stereotypical attitudes towards it, Out Takes’ 2014 selection has plenty of variety on offer, including:

The Rugby Player's Mark Bingham, with bloody knee

The Rugby Player’s Mark Bingham, with bloody knee

The Rugby Player, about the legacy of Mark Bingham, who died when United Flight 93 went down on 11 September, 2001; Tru Love, as much about relationships involving a difference of age as orientation; Codebreaker, about Alan Turing, the father of computing and inventor of the Enigma machine during World War II.

The programmes for Auckland and Wellington are available in print and online. In Christchurch the printed programme takes a little longer to come out, which is very possibly just a case of art imitating life. The Christchurch programme is online here.

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

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