Come Wednesday 16 December, Nantes Park in Athlone will be transformed into a drive-in movie theatre.
The event will take place from 17:00 to 22:00 with attendees sure to be entertained. Entry is limited to 150 cars with four persons per vehicle. Entry is free, however, organisers are calling for donations of non-perishable foods and good clothing to be distributed to poor families.
Organising committee members Zelda Hintsa and Theo Davids said the event forms part of alternative measures to reach audiences in light of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the film industry.
The event is organised by Gemini Twins Film and TV Productions in collaboration with Bridgetown Theatre Company.
Partners in the event include the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), SABC, City of Cape Town, the HCI Foundation, Golden Arrow, the Film Publication Board, and the Silvertown and Bridgetown Neighbourhood Watches.
The event will also feature a public appearance by the cast of the SABC hit series Melody. Shot in and around Athlone, the series tells local and relatable stories.
Episodes of Melody and other NFVF- funded films will be screened.
“In essence, this project will build capacity that should enhance the imperatives for the successful delivery of the drive-in project as envisaged. The success of this project is dependent not just on Gemini Twins Film’s input but also on all stakeholders’ effort and willingness to cooperate without reservation or prejudice,” says Davids.
From 17:00, there will be live entertainment followed by episode and film screenings from 19:30. Next will be a live Christmas play by the Melody cast at 20:15. The movie Grease will be screened at 21:00.
“Only 500 persons will be allowed. This includes cars and people sitting on the grass with deck chairs and blankets,” says Hintsa. “Covid-19 regulations will apply. Temperatures will be taken and social distancing (enforced). No mask, no entry.”
Refreshments will be on sale. No alcohol or drugs will be allowed and strict security will be on site.
“We wish to encourage people to dress up for the Christmas theme, for example, Christmas hats or the Grease theme. People are asked to please come early,” says Davids.
This event fulfils the requirement to forge, re-establish and consolidate constructive partnerships and engagement between communities, organisations and the government. It will be followed by a second event in January.