RedFlight Innovation South Africa partnered with Walt Disney Studios and Marvel to send a 35mm print all the way to Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa for a fully immersive theatrical production of Black Panther.
"When I first asked a few students at Khanyisa High School in Mthatha, one of the Mandela Schools that we work closely with, if they have seen Black Panther, we were shocked to learn that the closest movie theater was 3 hours away by car. For a community like Mthatha, that might as well have been 12 hours away. It is important that young people from this region in Africa see Black Panther - the language that the characters speak in Black Panther is Xhosa, the language of the Eastern Cape. It is also a tremendously inspiring and positive image for students to see African characters so empowered to change the world, in a country that is still recovering from apartheid.
The students who were given a stipend by RedFlight and paid travel to see the movie were transformed. So transformed, that RedFlight wanted to do more. So Robinne Burrell, Founder and Chief Product Officer of the company, collaborated with Disney to arrange for a full theatrical experience, screen, surround sound, music and a full 35mm print, to be taken to the high school so that all 1,300 students could experience Black Panther. It was the first time that a Disney film has ever been shown theatrically in the region and continues to be the most talked about event of recent years in the small hometown of Nelson Mandela.
"It introduces us to the whole dimension of black people being dominant. There is a lot of technology in it and it is fantastic, especially for me as I am looking to become a film editor one day", says Siyamathanda Macakati (17), one of the students who was inspired by the film. Siyamathanda lives in Nelson Mandela's hometown of Mthatha and is a senior at Khanyisa High School.