Thursday, March 13, 2014

Film Review 300: Rise of an Empire, Film Festivals & EFC Africa hits Cinemas

Film Review - 300: Rise of an Empire

Cast: Sullivan Stapleton, Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green
Director: Noam Murro

300: Rise of an Empire is a powerful film that certainly does justice to its release in IMAX® 3D, and audiences will leave the theatre feeling as if they too had been part of the war.

If you see it with the Dolby Atmos Sound System at Ster Kinekor Gateway the powerful digital audio creates a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie – and part of the non-stop action of the warring Greeks taking on the might of the Persian army.
The film is based on Frank Miller's latest graphic novel, Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster 300(released in 2006). This new chapter of the epic saga is a companion piece to the first film and takes the action to a fresh battlefield – on the sea, as Greek general, Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton), attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.
300: Rise of an Empire pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces, led by the mortal-turned-god, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemesia (Eva Green), his vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

After its victory over King Leonidas of Sparta’s army of just 300, the Persian Army under Xerxes’ command marches towards the major Greek city-states. The Democratic city of Athens, first in the path of Xerxes' army, bases its strength on its fleet led by the fearless Themistocles. However, Themistocles is forced into an unwilling alliance with the traditional rival of Athens, the oligarchic Sparta led by Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey), whose might lies with its superior infantry troops. Together, they take on Xerxes and the powerful Persian army that still reigns supreme in numbers over sea and land.

The visuals really are amazing.  It is almost as if you have been transported to that time and you will feel like you are in the middle of an adventure.  Some great acting, writing and direction makes for a wonderful film.

Rating 9/10 

View the trailer here:

For more information on Ster-Kinekor and IMAX®, visit Avoid the queues by booking online or by calling Ticketline on 082 16789, or you can book at the box office.  You can also download the Ster-Kinekor App on your Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone or Blackberry phone for updates and to book from your mobile.  To find out what other exciting promotions Ster-Kinekor has on offer, follow @SKTheatres on Twitter or Facebook at Ster-Kinekor Theatres.

The largest of Southern Africa's film festivals and the most important film festival in Africa, DIFF hosts a film competition component and also presents screenings in township areas where cinemas are non-existent.

The festival will consider films completed in 2013 and 2014, and there is no charge for entry. All submissions must be entered via the Eventival online system. In order to submit a film you will need to create a visitor account if you have not already done so in past years. The deadline for all entries, including delivery of screeners, is 28 March 2014 for short films, documentaries and feature fiction films.

The extensive seminar and workshop programme featuring local and international filmmakers and industry professionals includes the 7th Talent Campus Durban (19-23 July) in cooperation with Berlinale Talent Campus, and the 5th Durban FilmMart (19-22 July) in partnership with Durban Film Office, as well as various other streams of programming including Durban Wild Talk Africa and Wavescape.

Specific streams of programming for 2014 will include a focus on 20 years of democracy in South Africa, as well as films that explore architecture in various ways. This latter stream of programming acknowledges the World Congress of Architects which will take place in Durban in 2014, the week after DIFF.

"We look forward to once again receiving a wealth of top quality films from around the globe," says festival manager, Peter Machen. "We also welcome input from and engagement with current and potential partners who support the development of the film industry on the continent. It is through collaboration that we can offer film-makers and the public a festival of brilliant film and a worthwhile industry development programme."

The festival is supported by the National Film and Video Foundation, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the City of Durban and other valued funders and partners. eMAIL:

EFC AFRICA HITS CINEMAS Ster-Kinekor & EFC AFRICA announce exclusive broadcast partnership

Johannesburg (South Africa)
 – EFC AFRICA 28, taking place on Thursday, 27 March, will be screened at select Ster-Kinekor cinemas around the country for the first time, with an eruption of high-definition (HD), larger-than-life MMA action on the big screen.

In a partnership that has been in development for months, EFC AFRICA and Ster-Kinekor announced today (12 March) that fight fans throughout South Africa will be able to watch all 13 bouts from every upcoming EFC AFRICA event, live.

The partnership is launched on the back of Ster-Kinekor having completed the digital conversion in each of its cinemas. Substantial investment in the highest quality, live satellite broadcast equipment and a continuously tested and monitored signal will ensure a stable live broadcast of all the fight action, in crystal clear high definition.

The new format promises fans a big screen, live cinema experience, using the most advanced cinema broadcast platform available worldwide.

"We're excited to be offering fight fans the chance to see our events in such an awesome, larger than life setting," said EFC AFRICA president Cairo Howarth. "Ster-Kinekor's state of the art, digital HD setup makes it an incredible experience, from the first fight to the last. From 01 May, fans in Bloemfontein will be able to attend the cinema too, which we've been trying to organise for some time. Ster-Kinekor is leading the way with HD broadcast technology, and we're incredibly proud to be associated with this exciting project."

Doug Place, Marketing Executive of Ster-Kinekor Theatres, is equally delighted with the announcement of this new partnership. “Cinema is an evolving sector and we are in an exciting place right now. Resulting from our massive investment in technology and the digital upgrade, doors are opening for us to consider more alternative partnerships such as this one with EFC AFRICA.

“The digital conversion also means that the EFC fights on the big screen will be an awesome viewing experience for the fans. Watching all the live action in larger-than-life high definition is better than it has ever been seen before, and makes for a fantastic night out at the cinema!

“We are focused on continually improving the consumer experience and introducing fresh new offerings and alternative content that tap into new markets and what appeals to those audiences. It is these new initiatives that will ensure that the path to ongoing and future growth in the cinema industry is sustained,” comments Place.

The live Ster-Kinekor EFC AFRICA experience is to be made available in stages, with additional cinemas coming online for future events.

Fans can enjoy the EFC AFRICA 28 HD, big screen experience at the following Ster-Kinekor cinemas:

·         Ster-Kinekor Fourways (Johannesburg)
·         Ster-Kinekor East Rand Mall (Johannesburg)
·         Ster-Kinekor Gateway (Durban)
·         Ster-Kinekor Cavendish (Cape Town)

EFC AFRICA 29, taking place on 01 May, will see the addition of cinemas at:

·         Ster-Kinekor Brooklyn (Pretoria)
·         Ster-Kinekor The Zone (Johannesburg)
·         Ster-Kinekor Cradlestone (West Rand)
·         Ster-Kinekor Maponya (Soweto)
·         Ster-Kinekor Cape Gate (Cape Town)
·         Ster-Kinekor Tyger Valley (Cape Town)
·         Ster-Kinekor Mimosa (Bloemfontein)
·         Ster-Kinekor Greenstone (Edenvale)

Bookings for EFC AFRICA 28 at select Ster-Kinekor cinemas open on Friday, 14 March. Tickets cost R120, Ster-Kinekor SKCLUB, Discovery Vitality or Edgars club movie card benefits will apply. To find out more,

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