The Pollsmoor Recreation Centre was turned into a bioscope last week so that the inmates could be the first to watch a new local movie.
The film Noem My Skollie made history when it became the first feature film to debut at a prison before it was flighted on the big screen.
It’s the life story of former bandiet John W Fredericks, who also wrote the drama set on the Cape Flats in the 1960s.
The movie is about a Kewtown youngster who commits a crime and comes out of jail a changed man.
John and some of the cast, including actor Christian Bennett, were at the notorious prison because they wanted prisoners to get the first glimpse of the film.
“It actually worked because they were mesmerised and some were even crying,” says John.
The jailbirds got a special treat of popcorn and soda as they watched the movie.
“To put it in a nutshell, the atmosphere was loaded,” says John.
“I was crying and it was the fourth time I saw the film.”
John says the feedback from male and female prisoners really moved him.
“This one guy was so inspired, he has served five years and he had six days left before his release and he told me he always wanted to be a motivational speaker and because of the movie, I gave him this hope,” he says.
“I told them to never, ever give up on their dreams and to use the time that they have now wisely.”
John says when he was behind bars in the 70s, he chose not to join the numbers gangs and it was this advice he also passed on.
“One man came up to me, a convicted murderer, and you could see this ou was battered and bruised, and he said: “Hulle wil he ek moet die nommer vat,” and after seeing the film it changed his thinking,” says John.
The film is being released in cinemas on September 2, but John says it was important to take it to Pollsmoor first.
“That was where I told my stories and it’s where I wanted them to hear and see this story first,” says John.