September 21, 2011
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, N.J. (BUSINESS WIRE), September 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 Sept. 23, 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 viewing the trailer or spreading word about the film via Facebook or Twitter. Fans who pledge their support for the film on facebook.com/virginmobilelive during the first two weeks of the film’s release (ending on Oct. 2) will also have their names engraved on one of the wells in 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 to raise awareness in the New York City and Los Angeles areas. Among campuses targeted are UCLA, USC, Columbia University, NYU, and Baruch College.
“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, 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 Sept. 23.
“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 more than 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.
ABOUT VIRGIN MOBILE USA
Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint’s prepaid brands, offers millions of customers control, flexibility and connectivity through Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk plans for mobile services and prepaid Broadband2Go high-speed web access. Virgin Mobile branded devices are available at more than 40,000 retail stores, including Best Buy, radio Shack, Target, and Walmart. Top-up are available at approximately 150,000 locations nationwide and can be used for Broadband2Go services. Purchase and experience Virgin Mobile on the Web and at Facebook, Twitter, and www.virginmobileusa.com.
ABOUT VIRGIN PRODUCED
Virgin Produced is the film and television development, packaging and
production arm of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group. Led by CEO Jason
Felts and CCO Justin Berfield, Virgin Produced is breaking the corrosive
mold of Old Hollywood by providing a collaborative environment that
embraces talent so they can best create and inspire while utilizing the
entire marketing platform of the brand's airline, mobile, hotel, retail,
and social media power to reach over 60 million Virgin consumer 'brand
fans' worldwide. Launched in 2010, Virgin Produced's first production
was the paranoia-fueled thriller Limitless, which opened #1 worldwide
and has grossed over $170M. With an equal focus on television and film,
Virgin Produced's film division plan to produce 15 films over the next
three years through their strategic partnership with Relativity Media,
including the upcoming Machine Gun Preacher, Immortals, Movie 43, 21&
Over and Ecstasia.
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