A gay-themed video has won the City of Sydney’s Make Your Mark New Year’s Eve video competition, but not without stirring up its fair share of controversy.
Entrants to the competition had to upload a short video showing “how you plan to Make You
r Mark in the year 2011”. In Jeza Fenton and Vivian Yue’s winning entry, an interracial gay couple quite literally make their Mark, deciding to adopt a baby son named Mark.
“We wanted to make people think, to bring about a discussion. To make people laugh, but pass on a message at the same time,” Fenton told the Star Observer.
“We expected that a lot of entries would be focused on new year’s resolutions, about how people will make their mark this year.
“We wanted our video to be about something more. Sydney has a huge GLBT community, so we thought this video could be a really great opportunity to show Sydney’s support for equality.”
But it seems not all of Sydney is quite so supportive — the video has attracted a flurry of negative YouTube comments, and even caught the attention of 2UE broadcaster Michael Smith, who gave the City of Sydney an on-air blast after watching the clip with his two children.
“What the hell has that got to do with new year’s eve? Can you imagine explaining that to a six-year-old? I had great difficulty,” Smith said to 2UE listeners.
“What is Clover Moore trying to promote? Come on Clover, surely we’ve got something more inclusive to show. I don’t want to explain that sort of stuff to my kids again, Clover Moore, and I’d thank you to spare us.”
“The homophobia’s shocked me. A lot of people have misconstrued the message of the video. That’s been disappointing,” Fenton said.
But with the pair’s winnings including a high definition digital video camera, they said they won’t be silenced by homophobia.
“We want to continue making films that make people laugh and get people thinking. Hopefully we can do more of that this year,” Yue said.
info: See Fenton and Yue’s winning video at www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/nye/Competitions/Video.asp