The Lucky Specials Takes on Los Angeles at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF)

The film’s director and lead stars share their thoughts from Los Angeles on representing the film at the festival as it hits the red carpet again, exactly one year after its world premiere.

The celebration of success continues for “The Lucky Specials” this Saturday at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles. The festival boasts the largest collection of black films in America, and is a global platform for African talent and voices.

The director and lead actors of “The Lucky Specials” are now on the festival grounds, soaking up the experience with some of the most talented black artists from Hollywood and across the world. In anticipation of Saturday’s event, they shared what it means to represent the film at PAFF.


Rea Rangaka (Director)


The process of creating “The Lucky Specials” was a deeply personal experience for me – I am drawn to films that have meaningful messages, and the script immediately connected when I read it. To be able to craft a story filled with characters that are relatable and memorable, and to pair that story with a strong social statement and lifesaving information…I can’t ask for more as a director.  I am incredibly proud to represent the amazing cast and crew of “The Lucky Specials” at PAFF. We have come so far – two years ago I was sharing a set with them as we made the film, and last year, we shared the film with the world for the first time. PAFF is the perfect platform to continue this film’s legacy. I have connected with so many incredible artists and storytellers this week, and I look forward to continuing to share my own experience and refine my craft surrounded by such talent as the festival continues. – Rea

Sivenathi Mabuya (Nkanyiso)


I’m honored to be attending PAFF and to represent not only people of color, but of a powerful nation that has a voice of trust driving them to tell their stories. We, as South Africans, are proud to share important conversations about everyday issues in our own language and land, with the world.The Lucky Specials has been the greatest experience of my life. To be able to use a powerful platform to tell an inspirational story centered on social realism is so fulfilling. As an artist it means more to me to not only entertain, but educate the public on making better life decisions. What better way to do that than telling a personal story that the audience can resonate with? Playing the role of Nkanyiso taught me the importance of support, patience and resilience. To play such a strong female character was an opportunity to showcase how empowering and inspiring women can be. I’m forever grateful to have been a part of this incredible discussion. – Sive

Oros Mampofu (Mandla)



My “Lucky Specials” journey has been one filled with so much growth and fulfillment both personally and professionally, and I am thrilled to carry that with me as I attend PAFF. I knew from the onset that the task to play Mandla was a big one – I had to make sure to show all of his layers, from his love for music to his fears and dreams. His story is such a raw story to many, especially in deep rural communities. And using his voice as a platform to address stigma and health topics through an entertaining vehicle has been so gratifying. I knew I was taking on a great responsibility telling his story, to make sure that someone out there can learn from him. Figuring out how Mandla evolves throughout the course of the film was an incredible experience, and I am so excited to live through that journey again and share it with viewers at PAFF, who I think will be captivated. – Oros


The red-carpet screening of “The Lucky Specials” takes place at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15 and XD on Saturday, February 17 at 5:10pm, with the step and repeat and red carpet opening an hour before the screening.

An additional screening is scheduled for Monday, February 19 at 9:25pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

For media inquiries and to arrange interviews with Rea, Oros and Sivenathi, contact Regan Alsup at 248-807-5887 or