Robert Connolly’s Arenamedia has donated a LED projector to an innovative charitable project in South Sudan which will be used to screen educational and entertainment content and information to a remote community in the war-torn country.
The writer-director’s 3D children’s film Paper Planes will be among the first titles shown at the mini-cinema.
Documentary filmmaker Samuel Richards aims to raise $12,500 via crowd-funding site Chuffed.org for the Portal Project. This initiative will entail taking the LED projector/media player, fabric video screen, sound system and solar-powered generator to the Turalei children's shelter in South Sudan.
The system will serve as a tool for educational programs, public meetings, ceremonies, broadcasting information, health bulletins and entertainment.
Richards is recording video messages of hope and support from members of the expat Sudanese community in Melbourne, many of whom were refugees from the civil war.
By co-incidence, Connolly had filmed a scene with children from Sudan at a school in Melbourne, recreating a school in Sudan, as a kid from the region takes part in the world paper plane championships depicted in the film.
Produced by Connolly, Maggie Miles and Liz Kearney, the film stars Sam Worthington, Anthony LaPaglia and Ed Oxenbould in the tale of an Australian boy’s passion for flight and will be launched by Roadshow on January 15.
“Arenamedia has bought the projector and I’ve agreed to help with the project as a prototype for taking screening facilities like this in remote communities throughout Sudan,” Connolly told IF today from the American Film Market, where Paper Planes is being pitched to buyers by Arclight.
“With all the discussion about exhibition and distribution in Australia, this is a unique initiative in partnership with the Sudanese community in Melbourne.”
Richards, who will travel to Sudan to set up the screening system, got the idea after meeting David Vincent, a former child soldier of Sudan who spent 18 years in refugee camps before securing a humanitarian visa to Melbourne.
Vincent runs the charity Peace Palette to provide care for more than 200 homeless, lost and orphaned children at the Nhomlau Children's Centre (NCC) in the village of Turalei.
“The Portal Project is providing a way for the NCC to receive communications and information from the outside world and to be able to communicate and share information within their local community quickly and effectively,” Richards said.
To donate, please go to: https://www.chuffed.org/project/portalproject