Ster-Kinekor Theatres has persuaded 6 well-known South African women to pose naked for a charity calendar to raise money for Breast Cancer campaigns.
Titled Showcase, the calendar was photographed by celebrated South African photographer David Dodds and inspired by the film Calendar Girls, which opens at Ster-Kinekor Theatres on Friday 14 November 2003.
It features the naked Edith Venter (Miss January and February and Businesswomen AND Patron of Cancer Association for Gauteng), Michelle Botes (Isidingo), Shado Twala (entertainment consultant), Shaleen Surtie-Richards (Generations), Anne Heysteck (author) and PJ Powers (musician).
"Ster-Kinekor Theatres is as committed to putting back into the community as it is to entertaining it," says Odette Van Wyk Ster-Kinekor Theatres Marketing Executive. "As soon as we caught sight of the film we thought there was an opportunity to do something unusual that would catch people's attention as well as being an excellent fundraiser for a very real issue in the lives of all South African women. All 6 women were delighted to support such a worthwhile cause and we're thrilled with the results."
The movie, Calendar Girls, which inspired the South African calendar, tells the true story of a group of English Women's Institute members (an organisation more associated with jam-making and knitting than racy photos) who wanted to do something different to raise money for leukemia research. They hit on the idea of doing their own version of 'girly' a calendar with the women themselves posing nude - tastefully protected by the odd milk churn or bunch of flowers. The calendar was a roaring success and the story was a media phenomenon around the world, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process.
The release of the film - starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters amongst others – was quickly identified by Ster-Kinekor Theatres as a chance to have some fun and to raise money.
Commented photographer David Dodds, who for ten years, from 1990 – 2000, produced an annual calendar showcasing the women of South Africa: "In the original calendar all the women were middle aged and naked, hiding behind something. What we share with the original is the premise that the South African women would be tastefully and professionally uncovered - but how much they wanted to reveal was up to them."
Added Savannah Williams, Marketing Manager SABC 3, the media partner for Showcase: "SABC 3 is proud to be the broadcast sponsor of this worthwhile initiative as it not only promotes cause-related marketing, but it combines glamour and style in such a way that it compliments our brand."
The Showcase calendar will be on sale at all Ster-Kinekor theatres for R50 with proceeds going to CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) who will then distribute it to breast cancer initiatives.
The movie Calendar Girls opens on the Ster-Kinekor circuit nationally on Friday 14th November 2003.