HOURS OF HARD LIQUOR AND PORN

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From dancing Lego men to 1930s instructional movies, this porn film fest is unlike any other. Jen White spreads the word.

From the moment I heard about Darryl’s Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival, my cheeks got a little flushed. Just the thought of seeing films created by amateur pornographers about facials, gang bangs and plot lines of pizza boys deciding where to stick their pepperonis had me a little flustered.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into the ultra-hip Drake Hotel last Wednesday night to find a group of artsy twenty to thirtysomethings at the festival’s launch of the 69 Hour Film Challenge.

Darryl Gold, creator and coordinator of the festival, graced the stage and revealed the big joke: It’s not a real porn festival — it’s more like a comedy short film festival about porn. Submissions run the gamut, from parodies of porn and mockumentaries to animations, music videos and everything in between.

It all started at a party at Darryl’s apartment in 2000. Dubbed “Darryl’s Hard Liquor and Porn Party,” Gold had his friends bring booze and a scene from their favourite porn movies.

“One guy made his own film, and it was funny, and I figured that was the way to go,” says Gold. “Because most of my friends are actors, writers, filmmakers and musicians, they jump at a creative opportunity. So the next one I had, everybody had to make a film, and it got bigger from there.”

He started referring to the party as a film festival in 2003.

“It’s really just a joke,” says Gold. “It’s like a satire of a film festival, because it’s one night. I guess it’s part of the overall humorous package that it’s called a film festival.”

But Ryerson theatre graduate Diana Galligan and her partner in porn fest filmmaking, Irene Duma, know what this whole thing is really about.

“When I first heard about it, I didn’t think I was all about the porn,” says Galligan. “I think it’s pretty interesting because it’s taken Darryl a couple of years for people to get the joke of it, that it’s a comedy film festival, and it’s not a porn film festival.”

“Maybe he likes getting in those true porn submissions,” Duma jokes.

The pair have been meaning to enter the festival for years now, but just never managed to get their ideas together on time. They only decided to follow through on it an hour before the launch.

“In my head, I was going, ‘How are we supposed to do this? (Galligan) is working full time,’” says Duma.

But that’s part of the charm of the 69 Hour Film Challenge: it fulfills that spontaneous need to give people the chance to generate something on the fly. Galligan worked on the script at work and the two did their shooting on Friday night. They wrapped up the editing on Saturday just hours before the film was due.

They got their one-minute-and-thirty-five-second piece, entitled Helping You Sell — With Sex, handed in right on time on Saturday afternoon. While 12 ambitious teams started out in this challenge, they are one of just six groups that actually managed to produced an actual short.

The remainder of the festival’s program was filled with submitted films and films from festivals past. Submissions came from far and wide, including the United States, Australia and Ukraine. There was even a film from former SNL star Jeff Richards.

Richards and director/producer Ron Eigen were given the go-ahead from three Japanese bankers to make a variety show in New Zealand, but censors gave it the axe. They got the rights back and released it on DVD, under the moniker Brand New Dudes.

“It wasn’t like we were trying to push the envelope, we just didn’t want to use an envelope,” says Richards.  The duo chose the festival to show their rap video “What’s a Motherf***** Got to Do (To Get His Ass Eaten Out Around Here?)”

“We just thought it would be a really fun place to show a music video because we know that it’s all porn-related stuff and the culture here is a little more liberal and fun,” Eigen says.

After the festival’s packed pre-party last Saturday night at Pauper’s Pub, the extravagantly-dressed group made its way across the street to the Bloor Cinema, marking the first time the event was ever held in a proper theatre.

In the past, everyone drank and watched the films in a bar. “Drinking is very much a part of the experience, so I hope you’re all a little liquored up,” says the festival’s executive producer, Jill Rosenberg.

She also jokes that the whole thing is starting to look like a legitimate film festival.

The theatre is packed, there are corporate sponsors and donated prizes for the awards, there’s a panel of “pornolicious judges,” including the illustrious Josey Vogels.

And, there’s the star power of Jeff Richards. “Hopefully he’ll lend a bit of credibility to this show,” jokes Gold.

With another Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival happening in Montreal this November, the festival’s popularity is no joke.

But here’s hoping that those Quebecers know what they’re signing themselves up for.


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