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Galileo Open Air Cinema and Drive In

The Galileo Open Air Cinema is approaching a decade since its first outdoor screening. A darling of the Cape Town events scene, 2020 has been a crazy time for the events company, which has had to reinvent its offering in order to roll with the changes. While you'd imagine that the Galileo would be one of the least affected events, the Galileo has taken a knock having to cut their previous season short. Already beholden to weather conditions, the coronavirus has had an adverse effect when it comes to numbers. Beyond crowd control, having your event's capacity reduced means the outdoor cinema has to get by on less when it comes to filling the house. Just like an ordinary cinema, when less tickets are sold... revenue is reduced.

While the Galileo is managing to continue its wonderful array of events around Cape Town and the winelands, it needs the help of loyal patrons to keep it going beyond the coronavirus era. Setting up the screen and hosting the event at beautiful venues around the Cape metropole requires event management and a full complement of staff. You need a competent AV team, facilitators to manage back rest and blanket distribution, a welcome person to advise on safety protocol, a box office and vendors at food stalls. The whole event takes a village for it to run smoothly. So your ticket price is going to ensuring that the screening goes ahead without a hitch over and above the hard costs of presenting a feature film in a beautiful place.

To accommodate the recent changes when it comes to capacity and social distancing, the Galileo has reinvented itself to provide three types of screening.

Galileo Picnic

The traditional Galileo event is now known as a Picnic screening, which continues to allow patrons to enjoy a picnic with family and friends before a main feature. While there are food stalls including delicious schwarmas, droolicious pizzas or gourmet coffee, you're allowed to bring your own picnic into the venue. The sweet and popcorn offering is now relayed by way of a wheelbarrow enabling the snacks to find their way to you. The film is now projected from front of house, which probably improves the vibrancy of colours on screen over rear projection and the sound seems better. It's also a good idea to take a cushion and a warm jacket because the nights can get a bit chilly.

At the rescheduled launch at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardenes, which included a bevy of media, there was a live performance from mother-daughter duet, Plumsong. Starting with a crooner version of Radiohead's Creep, the laidback picnic concert set the scene for a good season of outdoor entertainment with the Galileo. While the original launch with La La Land was postponed due to bad weather, the reinstated event was built around Sean Penn's soulful Into the Wild starring Emile Hirsch. A brilliant scrapbook character study and exploration of freedom and society against Eddie Vedder's music, this powerful true story seems that much more true to form when screened under the stars.

The traditional picnic style event continues to be a mainstay for the Galileo, but they've also added a drive in and VIP edition of the outdoor screening.

Galileo Royale

The Royale edition of the event is finding audiences attending more exclusive versions of the Galileo screening. Hosted at places like the Casa Labia, the experience is more restricted in terms of numbers and features a live performance as well as preset snacks and drinks. All of these events are amazing for romantic dates and the Royale is probably the way to impress your significant other depending on your film selection. The other variations suit families better but what's not to love about watching a movie under the stars against the backdrop of a beautiful Cape Town vista or venue.

Galileo Drive-In

The nostalgia around drive in cinemas has resurrected the event, giving many people a fresh experience and others a heavy dose of nostalgia. While the old style drive in required you to put a speaker into your car window, the newer events make it possible for you to tune in on your radio. Some people reverse their cars and open the boot for a glass-free viewing experience under the stars but it's not a big deal if your windscreen is relatively clean. Taking a portable radio is probably a good idea if you don't want to jumpstart your car to get home.

To stand a chance of winning a double ticket to a picnic event at the Galileo including a back rest and blanket (valued at R260!), tell us which event you'd most like to attend. You can find out more details about the upcoming season's screening schedule here.

Ashton Gardner's 'Vision of a Dawn' - A Meditative and Cinematic Instrumental Album

South African musician, Ashton Gardner, was born in Durban and made his way down the coast to Port Elizabeth before settling in Cape Town almost 20 years ago. Gardner can play acoustic guitars, bass, piano, keyboard and drums, making him wonderfully versatile when it comes to creating and performing his own music. The local muso writes all of his own compositions and material, able to carry his vision right through to performance. Having years of studio experience, this independent artist is able to take a song from inception to release.

Vision of a Dawn - Meditative Instrumental Album

While Gardner's written and performed most of his songs with lyrics, his latest offering A Vision of a Dawn is what he describes as a "meditative instrumental album". The 10-track instrumental-focused release runs at almost an hour and was produced over a few months in meticulous detail. Fans have described the music as "deeply relaxing", "wonderfully ambient", "ethereal", "otherworldly" and "a mesmerizing landscape of sound".

After listening to the album, it's all of these things and more. Gardner's brought a cinematic feel to his instrumental collection. Mysterious, warm, uplifting and at times creating a sense of weightlessness, it's just what the world needs right now. After a tumultuous 2020 with everyone trying to grab your attention through adverts, social media, triggering headlines and a constant barrage of noise, it's no wonder taking a break and escaping into a dreamland is so promising. Vision of a Dawn will help you get there.

Creating dreamy soundscapes with his music there are dabs of Angelo Badalamenti who's best known for the Twin Peaks soundtrack and his work with David Lynch. This surreal aspect and soundscape layering makes the music rich in melody and atmosphere recalling the meticulous and ethereal works of Billy Corgan. There's a touch of melancholy, which is restrained by more optimistic riffs giving the blend of guitar and piano an emotive quality. The uplifting yet magical undertones are reminiscent of Owl City at times, making Vision of a Dawn enticing and more universal.

Electric Africa Virtual Reality Festival - The First of its Kind

Electric Africa VR Festival is an online virtual reality festival presented by Cape Town-based NPO Electric South. The first of its kind and based in Africa, the festival will be happening online for one week from 5 to 11 November.

Virtual reality is strongly associated with gaming but is becoming more integrated into experiential storytelling. AFDA film school featured a narrative-driven virtual reality short film at one of their recent graduation film festivals, so it's becoming more of a focus. The challenge associated with this kind of storytelling is that directors usually frame shots to direct an audience's attention. Enabling the story to spread in all directions, one has to create situations that exist concurrently, focus on experience-rich atmospheres or grab one's attention so there's a clear thread to the story.

VR usually requires a special viewing headset or goggles for a more immersive experience, however this online festival is making it possible to get the 360 degree experience without one. Through the partnership with webXR platform LucidWeb, the programme is enhanced for desktop, mobile phone or VR headsets.

The Electric Africa VR Festival is committed to showcasing African artists working in the virtual reality arena, alongside international works of narrative fiction and on-fiction. This is your opportunity to discover new voices and realities. The festival includes: Another Kind of Dying: Virtual Experience (South Africa), A Visit at Cissé Films (Mali/France), Daughters of Chibok (Nigeria), the world premiere of Gr8ness (South Africa) and an African premiere for afro-surrealist VR dreamscape, Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR by Ainslee Alem Robson.

The festival is geo-blocked for Africa but includes a series of freely available live talks and webinars with directors, producers, leaders in creative technologies and acclaimed artistic teams. Panelists include founder of Kenya’s BlackRhino VR, Brian Afande; Nigeria's Judith Okonkwo of Imisi3D and Daliso Ngoma, founder of African Technopreneurs.

Antoine Cayrol, co-founder of France’s leading VR company AtlasV and producer of ATOMU, together with its directors Shariffa Ali and Yetunde Dada, alumni of the 2017 Digital Lab Africa acceleration programme, will discuss their pioneering participatory movement piece which formed part of the official selection of the New Frontier Exhibitions at Sundance Film Festival 2020.

5 Steps to Get Ready for 'Bingeing with Spling' this Halloween

This year's played like a horror movie and according to an article in Psychology Today, horror fans have handled the pandemic much better than others. To get into the trick-or-treat fun of the annual celebration, join Spling for the next Bingeing with Spling watch party and movie night festival event. SPL!NG has teamed up with FrightFan.TV to bring you two horrors... psychological horrorThe Cleaning Lady and dark romance comedy Videoman, which will be playing as a double feature. Check out the trailers...

Prefer to hear all about it? Listen to this interview Spling did with Sara-Jayne King on CapeTalk.

In addition to the double feature, we're screening It's Complicated, a horror comedy short film as a curtain raiser, having a local horror author Joan De La Haye read a bedtime story at midnight, a bunch of Halloween music and loads of special guests. We'll kick things off with Marc van de Meulen's multi-screen cover of John Carpenter's Halloween theme, then when it comes to the evening's proceedings... local gothic industrial metal band, Terminatryx, will be introducing their music videos, which will serve as book ends for the night.

The Cleaning Lady, Videoman, It's Complicated - Bingeing with Spling

In-between screenings Spling will be interviewing special guests: Stelio Savante, Joan De La Haye and Grant de Sousa. We also have The Cleaning Lady's Rachel Alig and Jon Knautz, who will be giving us more detail on their experiences of making the psychological horror. Besides movies, music and special features... we're all going to be chiming in across social media, Spling's going to be giving live commentary and as host will be getting people excited for a great evening of entertainment!

Here's how to get ready for the Halloween movie night festival!

1. Put a big red X or circle your calendar for Halloween, 31 Oct at 6:30pm.

2. Follow /SplingMovies and /FrightFanTV socials to stay tuned for updates.

3. Join the official #BingeingWithSpling watch party group on Facebook and/or WhatsApp.

4. Charge your phone, laptop and get your snacks ready for the big night!

5. Add some Halloween cosplay into the mix and invite your friends to join in the watch party fun!

Critics and Fans Can't Get Enough of Primal

Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal recently won three of the five Outstanding Achievement In Animation Awards at the 2020 Emmys. The Adult Swim animated series received accolades for Tartakovsky’s story boards, art director Scott Wills, and character designer Stephen DeStefano.

Tartakovsy adds these covetted awards alongside his Emmys for Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars. Primal's creator has previously been nominated for Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powderpuff Girls previously and directed the Hotel Transylvania series, which was nominated for a Golden Globe. He's becoming a legend in the world of animation, delivering something bold and distinctly fresh in Primal.

The first five episodes are now complemented by new episodes, which are airing on Showmax every Monday of October. The animated series follows a caveman at the dawn of evolution and a dinosaur on the brink of extinction as the two forge an unlikely partnership. Navigating a primitive, brutal and hostile environment, their unspoken kinship unites them.

People riding dinosaurs may recall Dino-Riders for some who grew up with films like Jurassic Park, but taking it back to the days of early man makes this stylish series captivating and spectacular in its minimalist approach. Using little to no dialogue, it's all about the visual storytelling and soundscape. Grabbing hold of audiences with its harsh reality and gore factor, it's almost a relief that the visuals are animated rather than live-action!

Tartakovsy has been receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike for Primal. The series has an 8.7/10 rating on IMDb, a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes and has been described as "amazing", "genuine", "intense", "eye-popping", "stunning" and "soulful" from Collider to Rolling Stone. Comicbook.com call it a "masterpiece" and from the awards it's landing, it's easy to see why.

Don't take our word for it... experience the dark, brooding and powerful majesty of Primal for yourself.

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