Cape Town, 11 August 2023: While South African audiences eagerly await the release of Sound of Freedom, an independent film that intricately weaves the remarkable true story of a former government agent’s evolution into a vigilant champion, an international “Pay it Forward” campaign is making it possible for more people to see the film in cinemas, when it releases from 18 August 2023 onwards. An extension of the project that was run in America, the first 50 000 tickets are now available for South Africa, providing people who can’t afford cinema tickets, the opportunity to see it at one of the 43 cinemas releasing the film to do so. There is also the option to donate to the campaign.
Dubbed the “sleeper hit” of the year by critics internationally who did not foresee the remarkable success that it has achieved at the American and European box offices, Sound of Freedom chronicles Tim Ballard’s daring mission to rescue a multitude of children ensnared within the depths of human trafficking. Jim Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie, The Passion of the Christ, plays Ballard in the movie.
The film’s production house, Angel Studios launched the unconventional, grassroots “Pay it Forward” initiative to help people get to cinemas to see the film, and help spread awareness for the cause globally. This initiative has now been extended to South Africa with a portion of the donations made in America being channelled to people our country. Caviezel explained the intent behind the call to action at the end of the trailer for the film, and at the end of the film is to help people “hear the story” of trafficking children.
“Our goal is to inspire two million people to attend the film’s opening weekend to represent the two million trafficked children around the world,” he said. “Angel Studios set up a pay it forward program where you can pay for someone else’s ticket who might not otherwise see it. If the ticket price is preventing you from attending, claim your free ticket.” So far the two million goal has been exceeded and is on fourteen and a half million tickets and counting.
The film’s South African distributor, Gravel Road Distribution Group, has launched a local campaign, #PayItForwardAngels, and have set a target to raise 10,000 tickets from everyday South Africans and corporates, for those who cannot afford to see the film in cinemas, through this campaign. As the population dynamics and circumstances are somewhat different to the USA, some of the funds raised will also go towards covering the cost of transport to get certain communities to and from the cinemas. Gravel Road will coordinate the allocation of these tickets with organisations working in under- served areas.
South African audiences wishing to pledge or participate in the #PayItForwardAngels campaign can go to this website for more information on how to donate, gravelroadafrica.com, or visit participating Ster Kinekor, Nu Metro and Cine Centre cinemas once the film releases on 18 August 2023, and scan the QR codes displayed in the cinema foyers (just look out for #PayItForwardAngels signage).
Then, those South Africans who cannot afford the price of a ticket, can also go to this site to apply for a free ticket, gravelroadafrica.com. The site generates a unique code per person which can be used to book a ticket online at Ster-Kinekor cinemas, or on site at Nu Metro and Cine Centre cinemas.
Benjamin Cowley, CEO, Gravel Road Distribution Group shared his anticipation about the film’s release: “Sound of Freedom tells an important story, one that all too often is hidden in alternative media. Child trafficking is a worldwide phenomenon, and it is estimated that there are more people in slavery today, than ever before. I hope that through this campaign, as many South Africans can see this film as possible.”