Bring­ing movies to eKasi view­ers

CityPress - - News - PHUTI MATHOBELA phuti.mathobela@city­press.co.za

Bio­scopes are no more. Most small towns and town­ships have lost the venues and au­di­ences sought out by in­de­pen­dent film mak­ers.

But this has not de­terred ac­tor, TV pre­sen­ter and film pro­ducer Thapelo Mokoena, who has teamed up with his peers to rekin­dle the town­ship spirit of go­ing to the movies.

He is a co-founder of the Kasi Movie Nights mo­bile cin­ema con­cept. The lo­gis­tics of bring­ing a movie to town­ships is com­plex as it comes with many challenges, rang­ing from a lack of elec­tric­ity and chairs to hav­ing to book com­mu­nity halls or soc­cer fields to host au­di­ences. A min­i­mum fee is charged.

“It is about a cin­ema life­style, which is why we win awards do­ing this,” said Mokoena.

“We are de­ter­mined to bring new South African and African films to new au­di­ences. The Bio­scope at Mabo­neng Precinct, in Jo­han­nes­burg’s in­ner city, has played a fun­da­men­tal role in grow­ing new mar­kets for new films, as well as in ex­pos­ing new tal­ent.”

Mokoena listed the ad­van­tages of re­viv­ing movies in the town­ships and fo­cus­ing on African cin­ema: com­mu­ni­ties get to ex­pe­ri­ence the wealth of tal­ented African ac­tors and ac­tresses around and come to ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that African film mak­ers are as cre­ative and ca­pa­ble as their coun­ter­parts in other coun­tries.

“There are as­pir­ing young ac­tors and film mak­ers in our com­mu­ni­ties. This project is help­ing them work to­wards their dream of work­ing in the in­dus­try. They now know that this is an achiev­able goal.”

Mokoena also used the op­por­tu­nity at screen­ings to give in­spi­ra­tional talks, with the aim of en­cour­ag­ing fu­ture stars and guid­ing them on how to ap­proach the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

Talk­ing to City Press this week, Mokoena said he was now em­bark­ing on of­fer­ing a series of talks, pack­aged into a sem­i­nar called Book Your 1st Gig, aimed at em­pow­er­ing as­pir­ing ac­tors and hosts with tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and pre­sen­ta­tion skills to boost their po­ten­tial for suc­cess at au­di­tions.

He said novices of­ten needed strate­gies and tech­niques to give them a head start when en­ter­ing the in­dus­try and help them sharpen their skills.

So, Book Your First Gig is open to any­one who has what it takes to make it as an ac­tor or pre­sen­ter, but needs inside in­for­ma­tion on how to win over the cast­ing com­mu­nity. The ses­sions will be fa­cil­i­tated by some of the coun­try’s most sought-af­ter ac­tors, agents and pro­duc­ers.

Mokoena (34) fea­tures in e.tv’s drama series Bro­ken Vows and presents Si­nawe 72, a real­ity series that gives fam­i­lies a chance to re­vamp their homes.

He is also the co-founder and head of the Young Pro­duc­ers Fo­rum, and won the Youth Achiever Award at this year’s SA Film and Tele­vi­sion Awards.

. The in­au­gu­ral Book Your 1st Gig sem­i­nar takes place in Jo­han­nes­burg on Oc­to­ber 28. Tick­ets for the event are avail­able at webtick­ets.co.za.

SHOWBIZ WHIZ Film pro­ducer Thapelo Mokoena is of­fer­ing sem­i­nars to as­pir­ing ac­tors and pre­sen­ters

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