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A Lucky Man

Mxit claims social network world first with ‘A Lucky Man’ premiere

This is very cool. Africa’s largest mobile social network Mxit is getting its own full-length feature film.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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The film, called A Lucky Man, tells the story of Ernie ‘Lastig’ Solomon, a legendary ex-gang boss, from the Cape Flats, an expansive, low-lying, flat area situated to the southeast of the central business district of Cape Town.

Written and directed by Gordon Clarke, A Lucky Man follows Solomon on his search for identity and belonging in a society smothered by crime, violence and abuse.

Mxit users can download the movie, which it claims is the first full-length feature film to premiere exclusively on a social network, using the newly launched Cinemo app. Lucky Man has been broken into 18 four-minute episodes. A new episode will be uploaded every weekday at 10am from 18 February 2013.

Cinemo is an app within the Mxit Reach ecosystem, Mxit’s social good platform.

Mxit Reach VP Marlon Parker says the company understands the power of video and wants to use this “to encourage conversations about social issues such as drug abuse, HIV/Aids and gangsterism”. A Lucky Man is the first film to be featured in Cinemo’s Movies stream. According to Parker, the service’s other streams include public service announcements on issues such as condom use, and music videos like Freshly Ground’s popular, ‘Take me to the dance’.”

Mxit claims that since Cinemo’s January launch, the app has attracted over 90 000 subscribers. Parker reckons that the conversations generated around the content in Cinemo however are more important than the subscriber numbers.

“These chats are used to raise awareness of and direct users to Mxit communities and services where they can get help should they need it. With one click a user can go from a conversation about drug abuse to the Angel Network, our anonymous drug counselling service,” he says.

A Lucky Man reflects many of the incredibly difficult social issues South Africans face. I am looking forward to the conversations these episodes inspire,” he adss.

Mxit says its Cinemo app has been specifically designed for feature phones and is compatible with over 3 000 handsets. The files are compressed for the feature phone market and are never larger than 2mb. Many of the public service announcement videos are smaller, often only a few kb.

Parker says he’s “keen to see our community’s response to A Lucky Man”.

To add Cinemo as a contact go to Mxit > Tradepost > Mxit Reach > Edutainment > Cinemo.

A Lucky Man will be released in cinemas on 29 March.