A Lucky Man, a film about Ernie “Lastig” Solomons, the legendary ex-gang boss, is the first full-length feature film to premiere exclusively on social network Mxit.
Mxit users can download the movie using the newly-launched Cinemo app, which is within the Mxit Reach ecosystem.
A Lucky Man has been broken into 18 four-minute episodes. A new episode will be uploaded every weekday at 10am from 18 February 2013.
“We know the power of video and want to use this to encourage conversations about social issues such as drug abuse, HIV/Aids and gangsterism,” says Marlon Parker, VP of Mxit Reach.
“Cinemo has three content streams. It has movies, of which ‘A Lucky Man’ is the first, public service announcements on issues such as condom use, and music videos like Freshly Ground’s popular, ‘Take me to the dance’.”
Since Cinemo’s launch in January, the app has attracted over 90 000 subscribers.
“Most importantly we have seen great conversations happen around the social issues raised. 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,” says Parker.
“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 adds.
Written and directed by Gordon Clarke, A Lucky Man follows Solomons on his search for identity and belonging in a society smothered by crime, violence and abuse. The movie raises questions of identity, destiny, self-preservation and how, in the end, all people are their choices.
Mxit’s 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 kilobytes.
“Cinemo combines education, entertainment, counselling support and information into one application. We are keen to see our community’s response to A Lucky Man,” Parker adds.
A Lucky Man will be released in cinemas countrywide on 29 March.