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Divine fundraiser - a reel queer event in Sumner


Divine fundraiser
- a reel queer event
in Sumner

Sumner’s landmark Hollywood 3 Cinema will play host to a contingent of Canterbury’s queer community on 4 May, with the Christchurch premiere of the reality movie: I Am Divine.

The film tells the story of drag superstar Divine (aka Harris Glenn Milstead) from his humble beginnings as an overweight, teased, Baltimore youth to cult infamy as the star of John Waters’ movies such as Hairspray, Polyester and Pink Flamingos.

The I Am Divine screening on 4 May will raise funds to support the return of Out Takes 2014: A Reel Queer Film Festival to Christchurch in June.

The four-day film festival (12-15 June) will be the first Out Takes in Christchurch since the 2010/11 earthquakes and will showcase films from around the world.

A dozen screening sessions will feature award-winning comedies, documentaries, features and short films targeting the South Island queer community. Films have been selected to appeal to a broad queer audience, encompassing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, takatāpui and fa'afafine communities and their friends and families.

Filmgoers can pick up a Festival programme at the I Am Divine fundraiser.

The aftermath of the earthquakes saw many queer Cantabrians leave the city as job opportunities in areas such as hospitality were in short supply. With many entertainment venues also closed, the 2014 Out Takes film festival will be one of the first, large high-profile events for the local queer community and their supporters in several years.

Reel Queer Canterbury’s Festival co-convenors, Nancy Higgins and Walt Abell say if the South Island and Canterbury queer communities support the 2014 event in good numbers, future festivals will grow in both length and number of films screened.

Reel Queer Canterbury is a sub-committee of Reel Queer Incorporated – a non-profit group run by a core committee of experienced, but unpaid volunteers, who are drawn from the gay, lesbian and transgender communities. Out Takes has run in various New Zealand cities since the first Wellington festival in 1995.

As outrageous and fun as its subject, I Am Divine combines movie clips, rare home movies and photos, television appearances and live performance footage with interviews with John Waters, Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, Tab Hunter, Holly Woodlawn, his mother Frances Milstead, and many more of Divine's family, friends, colleagues and devotees.

Like the characters he portrayed in numerous films, Divine was the ultimate outsider. He transformed himself from a bullied schoolyard fat kid to a larger-than-life personality and underdog royalty as his alter-ego Divine.

Divine stood up for millions of gay men and women, female impersonators, punk rockers, the ample figured, and countless other socially-ostracised people. With a completely committed in-your-face style, he blurred the line between performer and personality and revolutionised pop culture.

Key details

I Am Divine
When: Sunday, 4 May at 7.30pm
Where: Hollywood 3 Cinema, 28 Marriner Street, Sumner
Tickets: $20 (no concessions)
Ticket information:,, Ph 021 171 0226


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