In Africa, movies can be more than a night out; they can be a step up. Making and watching films can change lives and empower individuals with information and ideas.
Outdoor cinema is an ideal medium for people in many parts of Africa and is growing in its use.
To show a film, they don't have to own the land or build a building-the screens can be set up in an open field.
A provider of large inflatable movie screens, Open Air Cinema is making it possible to provide this medium for NGOs and small business owners in Africa at a discounted rate.
With the inflatable screens, projectors, speakers, sound equipment and generators everything is completely transportable.
For example, in Rwanda, Open Air Cinema has partnered with the Rwanda Cinema Center which has a program to showcase the talent of the brilliant local filmmakers at several locations across the country.
Meanwhile, Open Air Cinema, the world leader in outdoor cinema equipment, is announcing a humanitarian effort that includes a subsidized program to provide Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and small business owners in Africa with its inflatable movie screens to show films in an outdoor environment.
The Open Air Cinema CineBox product comes equipped with everything needed to offer NGOs a portable, durable solution to distribute information, education and entertainment via outdoor movie screens.
The systems are simple enough to set up and use for small events with a few people, yet large enough to easily accommodate gatherings of several thousand people.
"With the infrastructure challenges that are common throughout Africa, we are offering NGOs an effective and enticing new medium to deliver critical information and needed entertainment," said Stuart Farmer, president of Open Air Cinema.
"Our inflatable movie screens and systems can be made available anywhere, even in the bush, so NGOs can now deliver consistent messages-through training films about AIDS awareness or women's rights or an entertaining movie to help elevate the morale of those in the audience."
Inflatable movie screens from Open Air Cinema have been used by the United Nations and FilmAid in refugee camps in Kenya and Tanzania.
The screens are also used for "Hillywood," the traveling Rwandan film festival. Movies featuring filmmakers from Rwanda and other African states are shown on the inflatable screens in seven locations over seven days.
Up to 10,000 people attend each showing. Each community has the opportunity to feature their own stories, in their own voice.
"We take our film festival to remote areas of Rwanda to bring the magic of cinema to a people who desperately need it," said Eric Kabera, founder of the Rwanda Cinema Center.
"Many people in this region have never seen a film, and we are working to educate and inspire them and open their eyes to the world of achievable possibilities."
"Outdoor cinema is an ideal medium for many parts of Africa," Farmer said.
"To show a film, you don't have to own the land, it can be in an open field.
"Everything can fit in a Land Rover including the screen, projector, speakers, a sound mixer and a generator for remote outdoor viewing."
The Open Air Cinema subsidized program is for use by NGOs and other organizations that desire to use the cinema equipment for humanitarian efforts in Africa.
The program includes detailed training, technical support and reduced pricing for participating organizations.
To apply for the program and for more information, visit www.openaircinema.us/humanitarian.htm