Golden gospel group goes big on the silver screen

South Africa's award-winning gospel outfit, Joyous Celebration, will be bringing its concert experience to cinemas./ SINO MAJANGAZA
South Africa's award-winning gospel outfit, Joyous Celebration, will be bringing its concert experience to cinemas./ SINO MAJANGAZA

Through a series of annual concerts and live DVDs, Joyous Celebration has cemented its place as one of the biggest musical acts in Mzansi.

Now the award-winning group is taking their music to the next level and releasing a cinema concert experience for their fans.

The first-of-its-kind project will hit selected cinemas from April 27 and Joyous Celebration co-founder Jabu Hlongwane said it was their most ambitious project yet.

"This is something we have been planning for a long time. A concert experience that is edited exclusively for cinema. It will bring the Joyous Celebration experience to hundreds of fans who may not be able to attend a show or buy a DVD," Hlongwane said.

The performance, which was shot in 4D, will give fans an immersive experience that won't even require them to bring their 3D glasses, although popcorn and slushy is recommended.

"It will be like watching the show in 3D but without the glasses. It will feel like you are on screen.

"It will give people a view of the performances without having to wait in line or pay a lot. Tickets will cost only R50, which is less than a concert ticket."

He said the group was confident of selling out cinemas and hoped to release a film every year.

"We are hopeful of selling out but what is more important is that we are doing things that have never been done before in South Africa to bring our music to our fans."

The group was rocked last month by news that one of its co-founders Lindelani Mkhize had suffered a heart attack and was rushed to hospital.

Hlongwane said his friend was recovering well and would not let his ill-health postpone the launch of the film.

"He is doing well and has been in good spirits. We are happy he is doing better but he is still very much active in the group.

"In fact, he will be travelling to one of the launches for the film this week," he said.

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