Africast Launches America's First Pan-African Movie Channel

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Internet Marketing Consortium backs Africast with $1.5 million of marketing services.

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Africast Television Network has launched America's first Pan-African movie channel offering popular African movies, dramas and documentaries as subscription video on demand at its Website, http://www.africast.tv. Internet Marketing Consortium, an international marketing company, is investing $1.5 million in Africast on marketing and promotions aimed at U.S. and worldwide audiences. Several award-winning films featured on Africast's online movie channel, include:

-- The Campus Queen, premiering on Africast, exclusively in the U.S., is celebrated Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani's campus caper of music and rival student organizations, explored earlier in Spike Lee's School Daze. “The African film industry has come a long way,” says Kelani. “I'm inspired by the growing market for African films and distribution channels like Africast TV, a leading outlet for quality movies depicting authentic African life. I look forward to the premiere of The Campus Queen and presenting future works on Africast.”

-- La petite vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun), rated one of the year's 10 Best Films in 2000 by the Village Voice, is about a determined crippled girl reinventing herself as Senegal's first female newspaper vendor.

-- Dôlè (Money) offers a perspective on the crisis facing today's youth. With family and social structures crumbling, they increasingly rely on each other and pop culture, revealing that, whether in Gabon or elsewhere, youthful disaffection is remarkably similar.

--Sango Malo (The Village Teacher), Brazilian educator Paolo Freire's intimate portrait of social and economic changes in an African village in Cameroon that contrasts two views of education: traditional, “Eurocentric” curriculum that produces docile colonial administrators, versus the practical skills needed to build self-reliant rural communities.

Previews, programming and subscription details are at http://www.africast.tv. For $9.95 per month, subscribers can access 50 hours of film and drama programming which is refreshed by 10 additional hours of new programming each month. Africast is negotiating with Comcast and other cable companies to expand its service to selected cities.

“Culturally and politically, Africa is poised to undergo more changes and wield more influence in the world than ever before,” says John Sarpong, Africast Chairman and CEO. “However, much of what is shown about Africa is a view from outside, seen through eyes that are not African and, in some cases, not Africa friendly. Only if Africans can present their stories to the world will Africa gain renewed respect and realize her promising future. Our mission is to provide a global voice for Africans to tell their own stories."

Africast TV provides general audiences with an entertaining and informative window into the richness and promise of Africa and fills a void in the global African market by providing intelligent and appealing entertainment to a community that is aware of its heritage and hungry for quality programming.

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Michael Di Scipio
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