UNICEF UK Ambassador EWAN MCGREGOR's appeal film calls on cinema goers to share a little of what they have with starving children.

From today, Odeon, Vue and Picturehouse cinemas will screen a special UNICEF appeal film ahead of their weekend’s blockbusters, as part of UNICEF’s emergency appeal for the children of East Africa.

The appeal, called “Time to Share” sees UNICEF UK Ambassador and actor Ewan McGregor urging the UK public to share £5 through a simple text. Donations will help UNICEF save the lives of the half a million children currently at risk of starvation in Somalia.

The 40 second film will be shown in Odeon, Vue and Picturehouse cinemas across the UK, representing a market share of almost 45 percent of UK cinema goers.

This unprecedented level of support for UNICEF’s emergency appeal from UK cinemas is a reaction to the severity of the situation for children in East Africa

Digital Cinema Media (DCM) has been instrumental in showcasing the appeal film across UK cinemas, ahead of summer blockbusters including HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2, SUPER 8 and MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS.

Jeremy Playle, Sales Director at DCM said today; “We’re glad we can support UNICEF and hope this cinema campaign will generate awareness for their important work in East Africa.”

Tim Richards CEO of Vue Entertainment said 'With so much suffering taking place in East Africa, we at Vue are pleased to support this critically important emergency UNICEF appeal to help bring hope and relief to the poor children and families affected by the appalling  drought and famine'

Lyn Goleby, Managing Director of City Screen/Picturehouse Cinemas added, "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 help make a difference”

UNICEF UK’s Executive Director, David Bull commented: “Time to Share is a fundraising campaign which asks everyone to share a little of what they’ve got, to save children’s lives in East Africa. DCM, Vue, Odeon and Picturehouse Cinemas have all generously shared their time and their hugely valuable advertising space with UNICEF. We are extremely grateful for their support, because with one child dying every six minutes in Somalia, it really is Time to Share.”

In the appeal message, McGregor said:

"Hello there. Before the film starts I’d really like your help. Before you switch it off, it would be great if you could take out your phone.

Right now, more than 250 children are dying in Somalia every day. That’s one little boy or girl every six minutes.

This is a famine. And children are dying. They desperately need life-saving food and water. And they need it now.

It’s simple. They’re hungry. We can help. It’s time to share.

Just five pounds will feed a malnourished child for a week.

So please text SHARE to 70099 and help save a life.

Done! Done?

Thanks for sharing! And enjoy the film.”

Following the worst drought for 50 years, the clock is now ticking for weak and starving children across East Africa. Of the £190 million that UNICEF needs to help children over the next six months, they have received only 40%. UNICEF is the biggest provider of life-saving food for children in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti but needs more funds urgently to reach children in the worst affected regions as quickly as possible to prevent more children from dying.

As part of the UNICEF Time to Share campaign, which was officially launched yesterday, Everything Everywhere (the company running the Orange and T-Mobile brands) will also be texting their customers asking them to ‘text to donate’ £5, and to help spread the word about the ‘Children’s Famine’.

Cinema goers are asked to help children in East Africa by texting SHARE to 70099. The more people share, the more children UNICEF can reach. UNICEF UK is not part of the Disasters Emergency Committee and receives no money from the UN budget. It relies entirely on voluntary donations.

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For further information please contact:
Liz Jones, UNICEF UK, on 020 7375 6096 or lizj@unicef.org.uk or call the UNICEF UK press office on 020 7375 6030


UNICEF has been operating across Somalia since 1971.  We have never been banned and never stopped working in the South.  We are the largest supplier of therapeutic and supplementary nutrition in the country. Despite the challenges to a country torn apart by conflict, insecurity and poverty, UNICEF and its partners, is delivering for children.  In the South, we operate through a network of 70 non-government partners and deploy third party monitors to ensure that supplies reach children.


UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk