Censored footage on screen at The Front

SMUT-HOUND — it’s a lovely, old-fashioned word for a censor and one that Canberra-raised filmmaker Sari Braithwaite is bringing into the limelight.

The respectable contemporary Stratton

The respectable contemporary Stratton

That’s the title of the film she’s written and directed which has been selected for screening next year on ABC2.

In brief, “Smut-Hounds” tells the story of 10 seconds of cinema that scandalised a government and transformed our nation. Back in 1969, the heyday of censorship in Australia, a 29-year-old festival director, David Stratton, went to war against the Australian Government over censorship.

Ah, those were the days! Just before the 1969 Sydney Film Festival, Stig Bjorkman’s film “I Love, You Love” was prohibited from the festival on the grounds of “explicit material.”

Now, over 40 years later, Braithwaite gives audiences the chance to finally see the scene that everyone was talking about, yet almost no one has laid eyes on.

Never-before-seen banned clipping

Never-before-seen banned clipping

“Smut-Hounds” features never-before-seen banned clippings from the government archives, as well as interviews with Stratton, now one of Australia’s best-known faces and voices.

Braithwaite, 29, is a documentary and music video director who grew up in Canberra. She studied history at ANU and graduated in 2007. Now based in Melbourne, she was at the helm of film programming for the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (coincidentally running in Canberra until Thursday) from 2011-2013.

A fundraising event is being held at The Front in Lyneham this Thursday to assist the production of “Smut-Hounds.” Censored clippings and footage from the 1960s will be shared, and Braithwaite will be there.

“Smut-Hounds” event, at The Front gallery and café, Lyneham Shops, 5.30pm – 7pm Thursday, June 12. All welcome. Donations of $25 will receive re-order copies of the DVD, while donations of $60 will receive a limited edition Smut-Hounds poster. Donations can be made with cheque or cash.

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