From the producers of the widely acclaimed movie Inside Story comes a new feature-length film, The Lucky Specials, following a guitarist and his friends on their journey to create a new musical sound and catapult their small-time band to the big stage.
The Lucky Specials are a cover band in a dusty town in southern Africa. Mandla (Oros Mampofu from Skeem Saam) is a miner by day and plays lead guitar for The Lucky Specials by night, who dreams of making it big in the music industry. When tragedy strikes, the band, Mandla and their friend Nkanyiso (Sivenathi Mabuya) struggle to hold everything together.
Produced by Discovery Learning Alliance and Quizzical Pictures in association with HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, with support from Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and USAID and PEPFAR through Management Sciences for Health (MSH), The Lucky Specials is slated to entertain millions with its dynamic storyline, new brand of African music and unique look at tuberculosis.
Mampofu and Mabuya are joined by director Rea Rangaka (Ode in Blood) and a phenomenal cast of national stars, including musician Blondie Makhene as Mandla’s mentor, Bra Easy; Richard Lukunku (Thina Sobabili), Thomas Gumede (A Place Called Home) and Fulu Mugovhani (Ayanda) as Mandla’s band mates, and Linda Sebezo (Gauteng Maboneng) as a businesswoman who threatens to make band’s dreams fall apart.
What others say about The Lucky Specials?
“This film has it all: a new genre of music created specifically for the movie, a great story and a powerful message. We are privileged to work with our distinguished partners to bring this story to audiences across southern Africa and around the world.” – Aric Noboa, president of Discovery Learning Alliance and producer of The Lucky Specials
“When I read the script, it connected…I am drawn to films that have powerful messages, especially when they come packaged in a good story. This story, as well as working with a great cast and crew, made ‘The Lucky Specials’ a deeply personal experience for me; I think audiences will understand and identify with what the characters are going through.” – Rea Rangaka
“Films like ‘The Lucky Specials’ create an opportunity for great storytelling while giving viewers something that they have not seen before.” – Harriet Gavshon, managing director at Quizzical Pictures
“It’s always a great feeling bringing a character to life on-screen, and my character Mandla encounters a complex set of situations that take him down an unexpected path…Figuring out how he evolves throughout the course of the film was fulfilling for me, and I think will be captivating for viewers as well.” – Oros Mampofu
“Not only will this movie entertain millions of people across the African continent, but it will also impart critical lifesaving information. Quite simply, this is a film everyone needs to see!” – Christopher Rowan, U.S. Consul General Christopher Rowan speaking on behalf of USAID/Southern Africa.
“‘The Lucky Specials’ has the potential to help people realize that they can overcome curable diseases like tuberculosis…This is a story of triumph over adversity, and it poignantly demonstrates the importance of access to medical care and information.” – Dr Erin O’Shea, president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
“I hope this film will play an important role in encouraging discussions and increasing understanding of the reality of living with tuberculosis, by providing a gripping personal story which explores the impact of the disease.” – Dr Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome Trust
“The Lucky Specials lifts the viewer’s experience beyond the drama being played out on the screen, providing a profound connection with audiences and helping them make informed decisions about their health.” – Vickie Barrow-Klein, interim president and CEO of MSH.
The world premiere of The Lucky Specials took place on 17 February 2017 at MonteCasino in Johannesburg, South Africa, and will air on SABC1 in the coming weeks.