Two more contestants were disqualified on Friday morning in the race to set a new record, certified by Guinness World Records, for the longest time spent watching movies. Delon Munian fell asleep at 1:46am, and also had his eyes away from the screen for longer than 10 seconds. David Erasmus fell asleep at 3:25am.
At 8:55am today, the remaining four contestants had clocked 65 hours 3 minutes, putting them over the half-way mark.
The rules of the record attempt state that contestants may not sleep or take their eyes off the screen while watching the movie, and they are allowed only a ten minute rest break between movies. Movies have to be at least 90 minutes in length, and they must watch the entire film until the credits end.
“We’re over halfway now and we’re cheering for our remaining contestants to beat the clock and make it to Sunday afternoon. This is a tremendously gruelling event which will push our contestants to the limit,” said Jacqui O’Sullivan, Managing Executive for Group Communication and Public Relations at Telkom.
The current record stands at 120 hours 23 minutes, and the contestants are attempting to spend over 122 hours watching movies delivered via Telkom’s BOLTSPEED fibre. This is the first time the record has been attempted by streaming content over high-speed internet.
On Thursday morning, Buhlebethu Hlatswayo fell asleep at 2:50am, having watched for 34 hours 51 minutes. Aqeel Dockrat voluntarily withdrew after 13 hours 38 minutes due to ill health on Wednesday. Three others were disqualified on the same day: Tibor Donatus Kurucz, Tiberius Tjo and Louis Marx fell asleep for between seven and 20 minutes each, after they had been participating for 12 hours 42 minutes, 14 hours 22 minutes, and 14 hours 5 minutes respectively.
Thulisile Madyo declined her place shortly before the competition started on Tuesday afternoon and was replaced by Louis.
Suresh Joachim, an international endurance competitor who holds multiple titles, arrived in South Africa on Monday morning to compete against ten South African contestants backed by 94.7 listeners and chosen from over 100 local movie fans.
The contestants have been advised not to consume drinks containing caffeine, as this would affect their heart rates. As a result of sleep deprivation during the event, participants are likely to experience an increase in blood pressure, mood swings, nausea and vomiting. Existing mental health issues may be exacerbated.
Paramedics are on standby to check participants’ vital signs and an official Guinness World Records adjudicator will verify that all the requirements for the record breaking attempt have been met.
The Telkom Unlimited Movie Marathon is taking place at the Sheds in Newtown, Johannesburg. Visitors to the event will be able to watch movies for as long as they want, for only R30 a day. Secure parking is available and the entrance fee includes popcorn and a frozen drink. All proceeds will go towards LifeLine, which provides free counselling services across South Africa. Visit www.itickets.co.za to buy tickets or http://www.telkom.co.za/movie-marathon/index.html for more information.
The four remaining contestants are:
· Suresh Joachim (Canada)
· Sheetal Vallabh (South Africa)
· Lionel Havenga (South Africa)
· Clarissa Schoeman (South Africa)