Cafe joins film’s chain reaction

Adam Bouabda with a Countdown To Zero poster. Picture by FRANK REID
Adam Bouabda with a Countdown To Zero poster. Picture by FRANK REID

A MOVIE cafe owner is an “ambassador” for an Oscar nominee’s film on nuclear weapons – and will host its premiere in Hartlepool.

Countdown to Zero is a documentary about the history of the atomic bomb and the threat posed by stockpiles of the weapon today.

Hartlepool businessman Adam Bouabda is backing the film and is showing it at his Flix Movie Cafe, in Church Square, at 6.30pm on June 21 – the first time it will be shown in the UK with up to 100 venues taking part in simultaneous premieres.

Mr Bouabda said: “We showed a film called Restrepo last year that was also a small independent film and it was a real success.

“There’s not many places that can put something like this on and I don’t think that people in Hartlepool will ever have had the chance to see films such as this in the cinema.

“The big Vue cinema is great but does not cater for this type of film. In the past people would have had to go as far as the Tyneside Cinema to see these features.

“I’m really proud that we can put this on, especially as the film has such an important message. Being an ambassador we get to see it early and I can tell you it’s quite harrowing and a must watch.

“And the best thing is it’s a premiere, no-one else will have seen it until we put it on.”

The film’s distributor, Dogwoof, is hoping to get a host of small venues to show the film through an ambassador programme to raise awareness of the nuclear problem facing the world.

A spokesman for the firm said: “It’s time to empower people to take a more active role in the distribution of films. Cinemas can not service demand everywhere, and Dogwoof want people to see their films while the buzz is greatest.

“The ambassadors programme allows those with an entrepreneurial spirit to stand up and be counted by playing a pivotal role in the distribution of socially conscious films”.

The 91-minute film by British filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Lucy Walker traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs with nine nations possessing nuclear weapon capabilities and others racing to join them.

It features important international statesmen, including former world leaders Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pervez Musharraf and Tony Blair.

Countdown to Zero is also the first documentary since An Inconvenient Truth to be invited to screen in Official Selection at both the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.