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THE THREE AMIGOS (article first published : 2003-11-13)

The Three Amigos is a groundbreaking comedic HIV/Aids prevention strategy, supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It will be launched at Sithengi 2003 on November 13 during the run of the South African film market in Cape Town.

The series of 20 Public Service Announcements (PSA's) features three animated (2D) condom characters. Utilizing comedy as a medium, The Three Amigos - Shaft, Stretch and Dick - are parodies of typical dysfunctional males, battling to negotiate their sexuality in a world fraught with danger and risk.

The series is conceived and written by South African producer Brent Quinn of Quintet Productions. "The key challenge in the prevention of HIV/AIDS is to shift mindsets and challenge attitudes that lead to unprotected sex,” he explains. “This series of comedy sketches is aimed to nudge the sexually active towards common sense. The key focus of The Three Amigos is to de-stigmatise the condom itself. In making condoms our friends or amigos, many lives can be saved."

The Three Amigos is a South African-Canadian co-production. Many of Canada's top animation companies have co-operated to create the series.

Brent Quinn's producing partner is globally renowned Canadian producer Firdaus Kharas. Kharas has extensive experience internationally producing animation series and was one of the producers of animated PSA's for UNICEF's highly successful Cartoons for Children's Rights series. He attended Sithengi in November 2002, where Quinn pitched the concept to Kharas, who immediately accepted.

SABC 1 - Ya Mampela is committed to broadcasting the series on prime time television in South Africa.

The PSA's will be distributed around the world offering a contribution from South Africa towards other countries' efforts in stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. The marketing and distribution plan is to provide the material for free to broadcasters across Africa and other parts of the world. Each broadcaster is encouraged to translate the series into various local languages, with local stars re-voicing the characters.

More information from Brent Quinn on 011 880 5015 or 082 556 8074 or e-mail: quintet@icon.co.za




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