Virgin Mobile USA to Build Water Wells in Sudan to Honor Machine Gun Preacher and Empower Facebook Fans
Facebook Fans Who Pledge to Spread the Word About New Relativity Media/Virgin Produced Film Will Get Their Names Engraved on Wells
WARREN, NEW JERSEY - Sept. 21, 2011 - Virgin Mobile USA and production company Virgin Produced announced a special program today to support Relativity's upcoming Machine Gun Preacher, featuring Gerard Butler's (300) searing performance as Sam Childers, the impassioned founder of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization in this moving story of violence and redemption, directed by Golden Globe-nominated Marc Forster (Monster's Ball). The program will encourage both college students and Facebook fans at large to pledge their support for the story behind Machine Gun Preacher, which releases theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on September 23rd and in additional markets in the weeks to follow.
Virgin Mobile USA will first ask Facebook fans on their fan page (www.facebook.com/virginmobilelive) to sign a pledge to support this film. This pledge will inspire several ways a fan can support the film's release, including: 1) viewing the trailer, 2) spreading word about the film via Facebook or Twitter, or 3) seeing the film. If a fan fulfills their pledge in any of these ways, a donation will be made in their honor to help build a series of clean drinking water wells for Sudanese orphans in East Africa. To build awareness and momentum for this effort, Virgin Mobile USA will invade social networks and college campuses with an army of street teams to attract pledges that trigger donations in the NY and LA area. Among campuses targeted are UCLA, USC, Columbia University, NYU, and Baruch College. Fans who pledge their support for the film on www.facebook.com/virginmobilelive during the first two weeks of the film's release (ending on October 2nd) will also have their names engraved on one of the wells in Africa.
"Machine Gun Preacher is a beautiful film about one man's struggle to make a difference, despite facing adversity," said Ron Faris, marketing director for Virgin Mobile USA. "We hope by getting our Facebook fans to support this film and build fresh water wells in Sudan, it's now our audience that will turn to help one man and his inspired team. Virgin Mobile fans are not only stylish and savvy, but socially conscious as well. We're thrilled to give them an opportunity to spread the word and take action."
Leveraging the vast number of school clubs motivated by today's most pressing social matters, the hope is that students will rally around the initiative and flock to New York's AMC Lincoln Square and Regal Union Square, and Los Angeles' AMC Century City and ArcLight Hollywood on September 23rd.
"Relativity and Virgin Produced are proud to work together to inspire audiences of Machine Gun Preacher to take action in helping East African countries access clean drinking water. We believe it is vital to boost awareness, and to encourage people to mobilize on behalf of this cause," Jason Felts, CEO, Virgin Produced and Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO, Relativity Media said jointly.
Machine Gun Preacher is the inspirational true story of Sam Childers (Butler), a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children in East Africa. The explosive, real-life tale of a man who has rescued over a thousand orphans from starvation, diseases, and enslavement, Machine Gun Preacher is written by Jason Keller (Relativity's Untitled Snow White) and also stars Michelle Monaghan (Source Code), Kathy Baker (Cold Mountain), Madeline Carroll (Mr. Popper's Penguins), Academy Award®-nominated Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road), and Souleyman Sy Savane (Damages). Producing are Forster, alongside Relativity's Robbie Brenner, Safady Entertainment's Gary Safady and Craig Chapman, and GG Filmz's Deborah Giarratana.
For additional information on the film, please visit: http://www.machinegunpreacher.org/movie/
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