“Cinema to the People”
A flickering image in a darkened room
“Cinema to the People” had it’s origins in a film David saw many years ago about SolPlaatje’s travels around South Africa with a mobile cinema.It was also inspired by the 16mm films I used to watch at home on special occasions,with my father as the projectionist.At school, in the ‘70s, I used to go to “the bioscope” every Saturday, where we couldsmoke in the darkened theatre, and the back rows were reserved for snogging withgirlfriends.But when cinemas consolidated into Ster Kinekor and Nu Metro under apartheid, theselittle cinemas in the small towns mostly disappeared.I wrote an alternative distribution business plan that was about taking cinema back to thetownships, and began hawking this plan around unsuccessfully in 2007. It wasn’t until2010 that I found a partner and the means to do this.Having completed my film “The Cradock Four”, I wanted to show it to the community inCradock. With the help of the Foundation for Human Rights, I was able to do this. Whatan amazing response!That led in turn to a film festival in Orange Farm to commemorate International HumanRights Day. Now we are planning a tour of the Eastern Cape . . . to all the small towns,to show them films.This is a market the big players can’t reach, and we can. It’s educational, inspirational,and it will help create a new generation of filmmakers who, once again, were inspired bya flickering image on a silver screen in a darkened room . . .