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PROJECT OVERVIEW FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: WWW.THEBIOSCOPE.CO.ZA CONTACT DETAILS: INFO@THEBIOSCOPE.CO.ZA


SUMMARY The Bioscope is an innovative independent cinema that will be located at Main Street Life in downtown Johannesburg. The aim of the project is to increase the diversity of content on South African cinema screens thereby becoming an important cultural space in the city of Johannesburg. In bringing new films to new audiences, The Bioscope will play a fundamental role in growing new markets for new films, and will become a vital mechanism in developing local audiences for locally & internationally produced cinema.

The Bioscope wants to align itself with partners that embody the same spirit of innovation, creativity and independence that lie at the heart of this project.

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INTRODUCTION There was once a time in Johannesburg, when going to the cinema meant watching a movie on Louis Botha Avenue at either the Astra or Royal Bioscopes or at one of the many bioscopes in Hillbrow. The days of the bioscopes are fondly remembered by many today. These were stand alone, walk-in cinemas housed in beautiful old art-deco buildings and were located all over the city. Today however, independent cinemas have slowly dwindled down to a handful. Commercial cinema has come to dominate South African consumption and most movie theatres are located in bland shopping malls and all screen essentially the same content - mainstream films that look and sound like each other week in and week out. At these cinemas there is very little will to bring in small international films or documentaries and many locally made films rarely receive a theatrical release for similar reasons. As a result of this conservative model, many great films are rarely seen in South Africa. Johannesburg, unlike the city of Cape Town, does not have an independent cinema theatre that caters outside of the parameters of mainstream movies. The Bioscope will fill an important role by enhancing the cultural environment of Johannesburg by becoming the city’s only independent art-house cinema. It will be a unique exhibition space where on any night of the week, one will be able to find old art-house classics, discover small films from other parts of the world, or watch South African cinema past and present.

The Bioscope is about invigorating a new appreciation of film as an art form, celebrating the medium and bring exciting cinema to as wide an audience as possible.

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THE BIOSCOPE The Bioscope is a single screen, 75 seater independent cinema theatre located in the heart of Johannesburg’s old town, in the eastern part of city. The Bioscope is located on the ground floor of Main Street Life, a new development by Jonathan Liebmann of Propertuity who developed the successful Arts on Main located two blocks away. The Bioscope will be equipped with a High-Definition video projector, thus ensuring that the cinema can cater for most filmic or presentation formats. The Bioscope will be open six days a week and will broadly focus on the following programming areas:

First Run Films of local and international cinema Repertory Selections Special Events Film Education

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VISION The Bioscope seeks to create an independent & sustainable cinema theatre for interesting & engaging media in Johannesburg.

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PRIMARY OBJECTIVES

To provide access to films which have made a significant contribution to the history and/or current practice of cinema locally, regionally, nationally and internationally through screenings and curated programming. To develop local audiences for local and international cinema. To achieve sustainability through a synthesis of good service and good management. To create a multi-purpose venue that will be used for film training workshops, conferences and other arts & culture events To promote the South African film industry through exhibition of local films as well as through skills development by way of training workshops To act as a platform for cross-cultural dialogue & exchange. To co-programme with arts festivals, and special interest groups in Johannesburg, Gauteng and South Africa in the interest of community service and the advancement of cinema.

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HISTORY The concept of establishing a cinema theatre dedicated to independent film in Johannesburg has been in development since 2008. For his final thesis of a post-graduate degree in Arts Management & Film Studies, Darryl Els wrote an extensive research document on the necessity of having an independent art-house cinema in Johannesburg. Using this research as a starting point, Darryl and Russell began The Fong Kong Film Series that ran during 2008 at the Television Department of the Wits School of Arts. The programme was created with the specific intent of showing films that had not been screened before and were generally hard to come by. The screenings received an enthusiastic response from both students and the general public. In 2009, an exciting partnership was formed with Arts on Main, a new development in downtown Johannesburg, and The Bioscope Screening Project was born. Established in 2009, Arts on Main has already become a bustling and important landmark on the arts, culture and entertainment scene in Johannesburg. The Bioscope began monthly film screenings free of charge to the public. This has resulted in a dedicated and ever-growing audience of discerning cinema-goers to the project. During this time The Bioscope has grown exponentially in popularity, bringing a number of local and international feature films and documentaries to local audiences, including an exclusive screening of the Oscar-Nominated documentary, Mugabe & The White African. This partnership has provided an opportunity to seed the vision of establishing a full-time art house cinema theatre in Johannesburg, and has served as an invaluable opportunity to research this possibility. 2010 has already seen a series of important developments in the story of The Bioscope. The generous donation of a 35mm film projector together with a new permanent home at Main Street Life as well as the incredibly positive public reception of the screening project, has all prompted the exciting decision to finally set up a dedicated space to independent cinema.

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THE BIOSCOPE +JOHANNESBURG The Bioscope believes that the promotion of arts and culture is vital to the renewal and regeneration of Johannesburg’s inner city. Many of the world’s great cities have one or more independent cinemas and Johannesburg as a great city should be no different. In choosing to locate The Bioscope as part of the Main Street Life and the Maboneng Precinct, one should view The Bioscope is an urban renewal project, bringing businesses and people back to the inner city and endorsing Johannesburg as a World Class African City.

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LOCATION Main Street Life is set to become one of the most exciting residential developments of Johannesburg urban regeneration. This multi-purpose living environment will change people’s perceptions of living in the city. With the boutique hotel, The 12 Decades on its top floor, and, a restaurant, coffee shop, fashion store and an independent cinema, the 700 residents of Main Street Life and surrounding developments will be able to enjoy an unparalleled urban living experience in Johannesburg city. With Arts on Main, Johannesburg’s premiere arts and culture space situated a 100 meters down the road, this environment will be the ideal location for The Bioscope.

Early renderings of the space.

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PROGRAMMING

DIVERSE CINEMA FOR A DIVERSE AUDIENCE Since the Bioscope is wholly independent, it will have the freedom to exhibit exciting, risky and provocative work across all media platforms. This creative programming will include: Art house classics Contemporary world cinema Classic blockbusters Documentaries South African films Experimental films Shorts Digital arts and new media Music Videos Animation Children’s films In achieving these aims, The Bioscope has formed relationships with both local and international distributors, ensuring that a broad range of content not usually accessible in South Africa, will now be available for programming. The cinema will also host regular film-related events. Such events include; filmmaking workshops by experienced film and media professionals, award ceremonies and special screening events for all media-based schools in Johannesburg, music and film events and many more. Through this focus on innovative and diverse programming The Bioscope will ensure that it becomes the site of independent cinema in Johannesburg. THE

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PARTNERSHIPS + ALLIANCES The Bioscope has already formed significant partnerships and relationships with various groups in achieving the programming aims. Some of these partnerships are: Labia Cinema (Cape Town) The Documentary Filmmaker’s Association (SA) The Gauteng Film Commission (SA) Vice Broadcast Service (Global) Contemporary Films (UK) Fireworx Media (South Africa) Exploring Consciousness (Cape Town) The Winnipeg Film Group (Canada) The Tri-Continental Film Festival (SA) Brotfrabik Cinema (GER)

TARGET MARKET The core market for The Bioscope is the type of person who appreciates the arts and cinema in particular, and is interested in an alternative to the typical commercial offerings in the film and arts experiences. Whilst The Bioscope will cater for cinema lovers, a central aspect of the project is to introduce classic & contemporary world cinema to new audiences of all demographics.

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MEDIA EXPOSURE ONLINE & MOBILE As a result of The Bioscope Screening Project, a strong and successful online marketing strategy has already been developed. This strategy makes use of powerful social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and The Bioscope has developed and maintained a good following through these sites. The Bioscope’s website is the most important promotional tool for the cinema. The website details all forthcoming programming including film synopses, trailers and reviews, allowing potential viewers easy access to all information pertinent to the cinema. The website also has a constantly growing mailing list, and a dynamic graphic mailer is sent out to promote every screening. Any brand involved in an event can leverage off this database. The Bioscope as a creative project is being developed as part of a global creative collaboration initiative called Red Team Go. Being part of this international network will not only allow promotion of the cinema beyond South Africa’s borders but also mean that the cinema has the ability to interface with an incredible array of other media projects and creative individuals on a global scale. PRINT & RADIO In addition to the online marketing platforms, The Bioscope will make effective use of print, radio in promoting the cinema and its events. A programming guide, containing detailed scheduling and film information will be produced every 3 months. This guide will be placed at coffee shops, galleries and other prominent locations, ensuring that The Bioscope has excellent brand visibility and reaches its core target audience effectively. The Bioscope has already been featured in a number of publications both print and on-line including JHB Live, Mango Airlines Entertainment magazine, The Citizen and Sandton Lifestyle Magazine. The project has also received prominent coverage on Radio 702. Having new films announced regularly on Barry Ronge’s At the Movies show will form a vital aspect of the market campaign.

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COMPANY OWNERSHIP The Bioscope will be owned and operated by its founders, Darryl Els and Russell Grant.

START UP SUMMARY Darryl Els and Russell Grant will be the main investors and operators of The Bioscope. The cinema space is currently under construction, and the estimated opening date is JUNE 2010

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SERVICES The Bioscope will seek to provide an outstanding movie-watching experience to customers. High quality, engaging films will be viewed in a proper cinema environment complete with comfortable seating, excellent projection and sound quality. In addition, a variety of quality, reasonably priced snack items and beverages will keep customers satisfied during their movie experience. The auditorium can be hired an used as function venue for any audio visual related event.

BUSINESS OBJECTIVES During the first year of The Bioscope, our business goals are: 1. To have successfully opened the space at Main Street Life by June 2010. 2. To create a sustainable and profitable business from a combination of the following income streams: Ticket sales, concession sales, Bioscope Film Club memberships, screen and brochure advertising and venue hire. 3. To develop a loyal audience who see The Bioscope as the home of independent cinema in Johannesburg. 4. To seek, develop and maintain strong relationships with partners 5. To create a network of independent cinemas in South Africa so as to promote this important aspect of the film industry. THE

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CONTACT US www.thebioscope.co.za info@thebioscope.co.za Darryl Els. 084 414 9312 Operations Manager Russell Grant 073 284 1372 Marketing Manager

Important Notice The content and creative concepts of this document are the sole intellectual property of The Bioscope Independent Cinema CC. Onward transmission, distribution or online publishing of this document by recipients, reproduced or copied in whatever format, way or method is prohibited without the expressed consent and permission of the creators.

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The Bioscope Press Pack  

Overview of The Bioscope, an independent cinema located in dowtown Johannesburg