• A scene from Tropfest's Tropscore film 'Remote'. (Film still)Source: Film still
The choice of short film in Tropfest's musical scoring competition 'Tropscore' has been countered with a #notremotelyfunny online protest campaign.
SBS Movies

24 Sep 2015 - 5:53 PM  UPDATED 28 Sep 2015 - 4:18 PM

The short film in this year's APRA Tropscore musical scoring competition has been criticised for its treatment of domestic violence as 'a punchline'.

Now in its fifth year, the Tropfest and APRA AMCOS-run Tropscore chose Michael Noonan's 2013 Tropfest finalist film Remote, providing a scoreless version to download on the competition website.

The competition asks participants to recreate a new score for the film.

However many were disappointed with the representations of domestic violence in the film, prompting a social media campaign with the hashtag #notremotelyfunny.

In Remote, a man takes a long drive in the desert and struggles to find a site of a recent burial.

He recognises a patch on the ground as recently disturbed dirt, and digs up a a box to find his frightened wife inside.

And he asks her where the television remote is.

Recent viewers of the film, have expressed their opposition to it being chosen for the Tropscore competition.

Use of the hashtag grew after composer Jennifer Kingwell blogged about the issue and suggested an artistic protest.

Social media users, have referenced the timing of new federal government policy initiative to counter domestic violence in relation to the film.

APRA AMCOS have released a statement saying they understand concerns raised:

"The film was selected for Tropscore 2015​ for its suitability - its long sweeping frames and lack of dialogue - and the director had approved the film being re-scored. 

"We acknowledge that certain scenes in the film may challenge some people, notwithstanding the darkly satirical nature of the film.

"Given the level of domestic violence reported over recent months, we could and should have approved a more appropriate film choice.

"We will liaise with the 65 entrants on what action they would like us to take."

SBS television screened the short film Remote as part of the full coverage of Tropfest 2013.

*Ed's note: APRA AMCOS have since released another statement saying the organisation 'wishes to unreservedly apologise for any distress caused by our association with the film Remote'. Remote has been removed and a new film will be chosen for the Tropscore competition, with an extended deadline for submissions.

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