Distribution In Brief:


- French film star Juliette Binoche and other leading lights of the silver screen are joining forces to raise funds to reopen cinemas that are vanishing across Africa. Binoche, the star of Chocolat, The English Patient and The Unbearable Lightness of Being, co-heads a group that plans to revive cinemas across the continent, including Mali's iconic Soudan Cine, which closed in the capital, Bamako, 14 years ago. "The people of Mali will be able to rediscover movies," Binoche said at the Cannes Film Festival." Binoche and Cannes Festival president, Gilles Jacob, each wrote cheques for e5 000 (about R58,400) and handed them to Mali filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako for the 2010 re-opening of the theatre. Binoche and Sissako also said it was difficult for African films to be seen in their own countries. "The cinema is by far the best place for people to watch films," said Sissako, whose films include Waiting for Happiness.

- African animation films/cartoons are being ignored by television channels of the continent to the profit of achievements from Asia and Occident. The round-table held during the itinerant animation/cartoon festival closure made it possible to review the eighth African art. A genuine financial manna can be drawn from this sector if television channels of the continent simply broadcast local productions. To ensure more visibility for African cartoon, certain film makers are ready to offer their films to televisions on the continent. Beside distribution, African animation films are also confronted with difficulties in terms of logistics, training and financing.

- After the successful screening of their first music event, Nu Metro will host another one at their cinemas at the end of this month. And this time they will screen one of the country’s most successful bands, the Parlotones. South Africa’s premium cinema exhibitor announced the launch of Nu Metro Beat last months. It is a once a month, one night only music event, featuring music concerts and documentaries. Nu Metro cinemas content and marketing head Mark Harris explains: “The first event was a phenomenal success. It was a full-length documentary about the first leg of Iron Maidens’ historic Somewhere Back in Time World Tour in February and March last year.

“Our next event feature is The Parlotones Unplugged, which was filmed at Emperors Palace last year and was part of the Radio Controlled Robot Tour,” he says. “This amazing live performance is followed by a documentary of their European tour, which covered the UK, Switzerland and Germany. “This event will take place on Saturday May 30 - a simultaneous one night-only release at Nu Metro cinemas : Bedford Centre, Clearwater Mall, The Glen, Montecasino, Menlyn Park, Boardwalk PE, Canal Walk, The Pavilion, Riverside, and Loch Logan at the 5.15pm, 7.45pm and 10.15pm shows,” Harris says. The Parlotones will also make a surprise visit to one of the above cinemas on the night of the event.