Thesp joins forces with UK chains to aid African children

London– Ewan McGregor has joined forces with three of the UK’s leading cinema chains to support UNICEF’s emergency appeal for the children of East Africa.

Odeon, Vue and Picturehouse cinemas are showcasing a 40-second UNICEF film, fronted by McGregor, on over 1000 screens from Aug. 12, ahead of movies such as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” “Super 8″ and “Mr Popper’s Penguins.”

McGregor, who serves as UNICEF’s UK ambassador, is asking movie audiences to donate £5 ($8) by sending a text from their cellphones, in order to help relieve the famine in Somalia.

The unprecedented breadth of support from UK exhibitors for this charity appeal reflects the severity of the crisis in East Africa, where half a million children are at risk of starvation.

Lyn Goleby, managing director of City Screen/Picturehouse Cinemas, said, “What we are doing seems so small in the face of this scale of tragedy, but if we can help communicate the situation to our audiences, then hopefully it can make a difference.”

Digital Cinema Media, which books commercials into cinemas, arranged the screenings. The ground-breaking initiative was conceived by Hamish Moseley, senior vp of theatrical sales at distrib Momentum Pictures, whose partner works for UNICEF.

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