Spling loves movies so much that he’s devised ‘Bingeing with Spling’ a watch party event series. The movie critic and self-appointed host of these watch party evenings describes them as a “movie night festival”. Having hosted a number of in-cinema screenings in the past, Spling decided to bring it home during lockdown. They had a festive feel – facilitating the events, collaborating with partners, inviting special guests and performers, watching the movie before grabbing a warm drink at a nearby coffee shop for a debriefing – it was a little bit of movie magic.
Since the rise of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Showmax and DStv Now, it’s become much easier to watch movies from the comfort of your home. Now that many of these channels are releasing their own original films without a premiere, there’s seems to be a greater need than ever before to generate some hype around new movies or classics. Even TNT Africa are presenting a series of original films on their DStv channel, making it seem like a no-brainer to orchestrate these fun movie nights!
The stay-at-home culture has definitely contributed to interest in Bingeing with Spling movie events, but Spling is wanting to continue them beyond the pandemic. The physical screenings only enabled people in main city centres to participate. Now that you just need a decent Internet connection and a subscription to the associated streaming service, there’s a much broader viewership.
Being a first-of-its-kind event, geared around an evening of quality entertainment, it’s taking time for participants to find their feet. The M-NET Sunday night movie generates plenty of live commentary and Spling’s hoping that the same can be achieved by Bingeing with Spling.
The next Bingeing with Spling watch party is built around the sports coming-of-age drama, Beyond the River. Taking place on Heritage Day, Spling is wanting to celebrate arts and culture by focusing on films that South Africa can be proud of. His special guest for this upcoming movie night is Lemogang Tsipa, a leading actor from Beyond the River, who will be joining in the fun on the night.
The event is scheduled to start at 6:30pm with a curtain-raiser at 7pm in inspirational short film, The Letter Reader. This will be followed by the main feature at 8pm with a special Q&A with Lemogang after the movie. To open the watch party event, Spling has asked ShenFM to perform a song for Heritage Day.
It’s sure to be a great way to end a public holiday and start what will probably be a long weekend for many South Africans. Building the event around Heritage Day is a great way for Spling to acknowledge his home country and its diversity in cultures, traditions and people. South Africa has been through a challenging few years, topped by a difficult period of lockdown as with the rest of the world. Hopefully this event will give viewers a chance to have some fun and celebrate what unites us as a nation.
Follow @SplingMovies on Twitter, join the official Bingeing with Spling watch party group on Facebook or keep a look out for the #BingeingWithSpling hashtag on the night!