Inside Story: The Science of HIV/Aids screened for the first time to a packed theatre in Johannesburg on World Aids Day on 1 December.
The film by the non-profit Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (DCGEP) was produced by South Africa-based Curious Pictures with the support of PEPFAR, USAID, Chevron, Discovery Communications, Access Bank, The South African Department of Trade and Industry, SEACOM and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids(UNAIDS).
Directed by Rolie Nikiwe (Tsha Tsha, The Lab, Intersexions), the film aims to reach across class and educational boundaries through a compelling story of sports, love and ill fates to enlighten audiences about HIV/Aids.
Inside Story stars Kevin Ndege Mamboleo (Changing Times) as Kalu, a gifted footballer who moves from rural Kenya to urban Johannesburg to follow his dream and support his family. His path becomes more challenging when he falls in love with the coach’s daughter, Ify (Kendra Etufunwa), and subsequently finds out he is HIV positive.
Newcomers Mamboleo and Etufunwa (Jacob’s Cross) are joined by nationally and internationally celebrated stars including Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Hotel Rwanda, 24) as Kalu’s mentor and tough-as-nails coach, Fana Mokoena (Blood Diamond, Hotel Rwanda) as the ruthless team owner, and Regina-Re as Kalu’s mother, Miriam.
Inside Story also demonstrates the science of HIV in a personal, practical and memorable way, leveraging realistic CGI animations that take the viewer into the body while replacing misunderstanding with facts.
“Knowledge is power, and with Inside Story we have a powerful tool with which to share the science of HIV,’ said Aric Noboa, president, Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership and executive producer of Inside Story. “This is an African film for African audiences that tackles a global pandemic. We’re honoured to premiere the film here in South Africa, and thankful for the generous support of our partners. Understanding HIV/Aids is central to making healthy decisions, complying with treatment, and ending stigma and discrimination. This is the right time for Inside Story, an innovative approach to helping eradicate HIV/Aids in Africa and beyond.’
“Inside Story will be a valuable tool to inform people across Africa and the world about the science of HIV. With greater understanding of the virus people can seek to know their status, to protect themselves, and to adhere to life-saving treatment if needed,’ said Ambassador Eric Goosby, United States Aids Coordinator. “The global Aids response is a shared responsibility. With strong leadership from the United States, and continued partnership from the private sector, we are seizing the opportunity the science has presented us to move toward an Aids-free generation.’
Following the film’s world premiere in Johannesburg, it will make its US debut in Washington DC in January, and a comprehensive rollout of the film – including national broadcasts across sub-Saharan Africa and distribution through grassroots efforts of NGOs, schools and governments – will take place in 2012. Additionally, DCGEP will provide facilitator guides and DVD & online materials for use by community and public health organisations, as well as schools throughout Africa, to reinforce Inside Story’s messages in both urban and rural communities. Discovery World, the factual TV channel operated by Discovery Networks, will also support the project by airing the trailer and shorts across Africa in conjunction with the release of the film. The trailer for the film and regular updates on the project can be found at insidestorythemovie.org and facebook.com/insidestory.