South Africa Favorite LUCKY has Chicago Premiere at 18th Black Harvest Film Festival

Media contact: Kathy Goll 585.643.9779

**Screeners available on request




“A simple but profoundly moving portrait of humanity” – BBC

“An emotionally resonant portrait of contemporary South Africa…delicate and real…extraordinarily touching” – Variety

“Upholds human kindness and faith amidst a racist society” – The Times of India

“This is storytelling that amplifies the heartbeat (4-stars)” – The Tonight (SA)

WINNER – Best Film – Bengaluru International Film Festival

WINNER – Best Actress – Jayashree Basavaraj, Abu Dhabi Film Festival

WINNER – Best Crossover Film – London Asian Film Festival

WINNER – Gold Remi Award – Family and Children – Worldfest Houston

WINNER – Special Mention Award – Cape Winelands Film Festival

WINNER – ARCA Cinemagiovani Award – Giffoni Film Festival

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How could a recently orphaned, 10-year old homeless South African boy ever be called Lucky?

After playing to packed audiences at Toronto, London, Busan, Bangalore, Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Stuttgart, LA, New York, and at children’s festivals in Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, and Italy, LUCKY will have its Chicago premiere at the 18th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival.

The story: Over the grave of his dead mother, Lucky promises to make something of himself. He travels to the city with the hope of going to school, but is turned away by his good-for-nothing uncle. Homeless but determined, Lucky arrives at the door of a bigoted elderly Indian woman, who takes him in as she would a stray dog. Together, despite a racial divide and language barrier, they develop an unlikely bond and try to find Lucky a new life and family.

Through an odyssey marked by greed, violence, and ultimately, belonging, LUCKY shows how a child’s spirit can bring out decency, humility and even love in adults struggling to survive in the new South Africa.

LUCKY trailer:

Written and directed by Avie Luthra (Mad, Sad and Bad), LUCKY is based upon the 2006 short, which was nominated for 43 international awards and short-listed for an Oscar. LUCKY introduces Sihle Dlamini as the tenacious Lucky, stars accomplished Indian actress Jayashree Basavaraj (Best Actress – 2011 Abu Dhabi Film Festival),  and co-stars James Ngcobo, Vusi Kunene (The First Grader) and Brenda Ngxoli. The film is in Zulu and Hindi with English subtitles and stands out as the first ever crossover Indian-South African film.

LUCKY is a How Town Film Productions/ Out of Africa Entertainment production, with Christopher J. Wilmot (Revenge for Jolly, Jam, Lost) and Lance Samuels (Bang Bang Club, Africa United) serving as Producers and Wilmot as Executive Producer. Cinematography by Willie Nel (Hopeville, White Wedding), edited by Josh Levinsky, production design by Chantel Carter (Crimes that Shook the World), and costume design by Zureta Schulz with the music score by Philip Miller (Catch a Fire, Bang Bang Club).


Tue, Aug 14th at 6:15pm

Thu, Aug 16th at 8:15pm

**Screeners available on request.

Downloadable press kit, images available

View trailer

View listing on Gene Siskel Film Center site

Press Kit:



Black Harvest Film Festival Listing:

LUCKY Official  Website:

Media contact: Kathy Goll 585.643.9779

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All 18th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival screenings and events are at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located at 164 N. State St.

Tickets to each screening are $11/general admission. Other ticket prices are $7/student and $6/Film Center members. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through Ticketmaster, 800-982-2787,, and all Ticketmaster outlets. The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Monday through Friday; 2:00 to 8:30 pm Saturday; or 2:00 to 5:30 pm Sunday.

Please note the following:

Purchase a Black Harvest festival pass for $50! Six movies for less than the price of five, plus a free small popcorn with each film. Turn in your pass at the end of the festival for a $5 discount on a Gene Siskel Film Center membership.

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A Film Center membership is a year-round ticket to great movies for only $5 per screening! Memberships are $50 (Individual) and $80 (Dual). For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit

Discounted parking is available for $14 for nine hours at the InterPark SELF-PARK at 20 E. Randolph St. A rebate ticket can be obtained from the Film Center Box Office.

For more information about the Film Center, call 312-846-2800 (24-hour movie hotline) or 312-846-2600 (general information, 9:00 am-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday), or visit

About the Black Harvest Film Festival

The 18th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival is Chicago’s largest- and longest- running Black film festival and the Gene Siskel Film Center’s most vibrant annual showcase featuring provocative films that tell stories, spark lively discussions, and address issues relating to the experiences from the African diaspora. From August 3 through 30, 2012, Black Harvest features Chicago premieres, filmmaker appearances, panel discussions, and special events. Presented will be over 40 features, documentaries, and shorts, including a number connected to Chicago, affirming the city’s role as a vital center for independent

About the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates 40 years of presenting cutting edge programs, independent and international cinema, premieres, retrospectives, and classic films. Internationally recognized for its original film programming, the Film Center is a vibrant cultural destination in Chicago that attracts a diverse and creative annual audience of 89,000.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs to nearly 3,200 students from around the globe. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC’s resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit