Cross Kine finds renewed success in niche distribution

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: For the last five years Pretoria-based Cross Kine has distributed Christian and faith-based movies produced by Incense Productions, including films such as Hartsbegeertes, Forsaken, Rowwe Diamante, ReLoad and Suiderkruis. Though well-received through DVD distribution, some of the films struggled to secure theatrical releases due to the content being too specific for mainstream cinemas. According to owners Morne Lane and Willie Olwage, this informed the decision to explore new avenues of distribution.

“We decided to approach the churches to use their venues as cinemas in order to release a new Christian movie every month,” explains Olwage. “We didn’t expect the response we are having. We held our first screening in April 2015 and have since expanded to 133 Cross Kine Centres across South Africa.” There are now Cross Kine Centres established in a number of local towns, ranging from Phalaborwa to Cape Town, Richards Bay and the Northen Cape.

By making this shift in content delivery, Cross Kine has been able to connect with an audience which has an already established interest in the films’ subject matter – harnessing the power of niche distribution. “We have received tremendous feedback from our audiences – especially those from the outlying areas in South Africa where some people have never experienced the environment of a movie house. The fact that tickets are being sold at R35 is also a positive factor. Families can now afford to watch a movie and still support the local church with refreshments on offer,” comments Olwage.

In the Woord en Lewe church in Boksburg approximately 1100 people attended the first Cross Kine screening, which took place on a long weekend Friday night. Olwage remarks, “Our movies are well supported – not just because we show them in churches – but because the audience, although a ‘niche’, is loyal to the content.”
Visit the CrossKine website for more information.

– Carly Barnes