From April 2015, the many small towns and villages of the Nkangala district in Mpumalanga will be the backdrop to an innovative technology experiment which will turn 14 micro entrepreneurs into mobile cinema operators.
Funded by the Department of Science and Technology and the European Commission, this consortium driven project called MOSAIC 2B hinges on the creation of new technologies and the development of a robust and user friendly ‘Cinema-in-a-backpack’. The overall project management is in the hands of the company GraphicsMedia.net from Kaiserslautern Germany.
The Cinema-in-a-backpack is a mobile, easy to use product incorporating a projector, speakers, a battery and a tablet, which enables micro entrepreneurs to project films, becoming part of their business offering to local communities in far-flung villages.
The MOSAIC 2B project aims to test an alternative and lower cost distribution channel for multi-media content that will offer a secure and viable method for reaching and connecting areas with poor or absent infrastructure. In addition to the development of these technologies, a further goal of this project is to respond to two specific challenges in the SA market. Firstly, the inaccessibility of cinemas in rural areas, and secondly the challenges experienced by entrepreneurs to run sustainable businesses. For that reason, a concept of a micro-franchise model for the ‘Cinema-in-a-backpack’ has been developed that exploits the advantage of the DTN technology to spur entrepreneurial activities in rural areas through this offering that is underpinned by training conducted by the University Pretoria.