"SOUNDS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT"
7th December 2012
Tooth reunites the Remix members and manages to lead them to the finals. Meanwhile, King Pin shows up to wreak his vengeance. Lindi makes peace with Titus, and Nails gets the recognition he so sorely craves.
Coal Stove Pictures 3 Stiemens Street, Braamfontein JHB
011 403 1446 (082) 2909093 ACT ONE
EXT. CHURCH (ESTABLISHING) - DAY We are back in our now familiar church. INT. TITUS'S OFFICE - DAY TIGHT on KIDY. Wiping tears from her eyes. KIDY I used to be such a good girl, moruti. I don't know what happened. She rummages through her bag, sniffing. TITUS offers her a kleenex from the pack on his table. KIDY (CONT'D) It was Satan. She blows noisily, breaks into a fit of coughing. KIDY (CONT'D) I spent the whole night crying. (beat, hopeful) I couldn't even eat this morning. TITUS Guilt is a terrible thing my daughter. Terrible thing. Kidy chokes back tears, forces another bout of coughing. TITUS (CONT'D) We are all sinners. True - some of us are bigger sinners than others but-- She sobs, clears her throat loud and long. KIDY (hoarse from crying) Water. Some water please, moruti. TITUS I'll get some tea. He leaves. At the sound of door slamming SHUT, Kidy's head snaps up. The facade drops. She's a woman on a mission. Machine-like, she crosses over to the filing cabinet. Rifles through it. Come on-- Come on-- BINGO! She's found it. She holds up a file, glances at the first page. CLOSE ON TOOTH'S MUGSHOT. She slams the cabinet shut and crosses back to her seat. Mission accomplished. And it's just in time as the door opens and -- TITUS (CONT'D) Sam will bring it shortly. He sits on the edge of the table. Kidy hides her face in her kleenex. TITUS (CONT'D) As I was saying, evil is not the answer child. KIDY Yes, moruti. Of course. Kidy blows hard into the kleenex, covers her face to hide the glint in her eye. EXT. TARYN'S APARTMENT HALLWAY - DAY We are outside Taryn's apartment door. It opens to reveal-- TARYN What do you want? And the unceremonious greeting is reserved for none other than -- TOOTH I need to ask you something. (beat) Can I come in? TARYN Sorry. We have a strict policy against criminals, pirates and gintsas in this building. She wheels around. TOOTH sticks his foot in the door. TOOTH Nine-nine I deserve that. All I need is a minute. That's all. TARYN considers this. TOOTH (CONT'D) I won't even dirty your chairs by sitting. He cracks a hopeful grin - the million dollar smile. ON Taryn. Deadpan. She turns around and walks back in, leaving the door open. Tooth follows. INT. CHURCH KITCHEN - DAY LINDI lugs in some plastic bags full of groceries. Starts packing them away. TITUS How's school? Lindi tenses. She turns to face him. LINDI Fine. (beat) Thanks. TITUS takes one of the grocery bags, starts unpacking. TITUS We'll organize a new group of volunteers soon. I don't like you missing school to help out here. LINDI I was free this morning. TITUS Then you should be studying. Lindi knows an argument's coming. She falls silent. Carries on packing things away. Titus lets it go and continues to why he's here. TITUS (CONT'D) I made a mistake about Tooth. Lindi pauses. Let this hang there for a beat. TITUS (CONT'D) Kidy was here just now. (beat, still hard for him) She was lying. ON LINDI. Did she hear right? LINDI She's not pregnant? Titus shakes his head. TITUS No. She just wanted money. Lindi sobs. Everything that she's been through. The betrayal. The pain. The loss. All of it comes out. She chokes back the tears. Titus puts an arm on her shoulder. TITUS (CONT'D) Come home Lindi. Everything will be just fine if you come home. Talk about bad timing. Lindi can't handle this right now. She walks out. OUT ON Titus. Troubled. Not sure what the next step is now. END ACT ONE ACT TWO INT. RADIO STATION - DAY On-air music plays in the background. MPHO, the hip, leather jacketed and faded jeans radio presenter, and TOOTH, are at the booth. TARYN is seated off mic, thumbs flying all over her phone. TARYN You owe me big time for this Tooth. If you say anything dumb and I get fired I swear I'll -- TOOTH Auska-worry sis. Just make sure everyone's listening. TARYN And it looks like I'm doing what? MPHO And we're back on in five--four-- He mimes three--two--one. He cues up the mics. MPHO (CONT'D) (into mic) You're listening to the pulse of Orlando East, keeping it real for amajitas e'Ndofaya. We're back in studio with artist Tooth, from the kwaito duo Tooth and Nails. (beat) So Tooth. You told us how you were busted pirating your own music and how you had to do community service for it. But the journey didn't end there? TOOTH (into mic ) Sho Mpho, it didn't. I had the chance to work with the best talent ko- Youth Harvest. But then I messed up again. Story of my life mfowethu. EXT. CAR WASH - DAY LUNGI'S watching his car getting washed. The doors are open . The radio is on. TOOTH (on the radio) I got greedy. And I tried to take some short cuts. And without realizing it I ended up using my friends. Lungi looks off. This resonates with him. TOOTH (PRE-LAP) (CONT'D) (on the radio) It was a stupid plan. INT. RADIO STATION - DAY TOOTH (into mic) I recorded all the songs we were prepping, and I was going to make ama-cd and sell them undercover. Mara I got busted ukugera. MPHO Caught red-handed. TOOTH Big time. Grand grand I deserved it. INT. TARYN'S APARTMENT, KITCHEN - DAY LINDI leaning on the counter, chewing a sandwich. Her cellphone is on, tuned into the radio station. TOOTH (V.O.) But why I came on air is because I want Remix, and all the guys ko kasi and the whole world to hear me say hade. I didn't mean to mess it up for everyone. Lindi hangs on every word he says. TOOTH (PRE-LAP) (on the radio) And majitas. If you're listening-- INT. FANCY CAR - DAY THEMBI and NIKI are in NIKI'S CAR. Engulfed by shopping bags. Niki turns up the volume on the radio. TOOTH (V.O.) --I'd just like to ask for a second chance. Coz you guys are the best people I've ever worked with. Niki and Thembi look at each other. They make 'aaah' motions with their mouths. TOOTH (PRE-LAP) (on the radio) And I know that-- INT. RADIO STATION - DAY TOOTH (into mic) -- I don't deserve to have a team like you guys. But if you can find it in your hearts... to forgive me. The silence hangs there for a beat. MPHO recovers. MPHO Sho mfethu. And that's our AM drive feature for today bafwethu. (beat) Let us know what you think. Should Remix forgive Tooth and get back together, or should they go their separate ways. The number is three four zero nine six. Smses charged at one rand fifty. Three four zero nine six. Let us know what you think. He cues up the music. As it fills the room-- NAILS (PRE-LAP) It's just like him. INT. PASTOR JEFF'S OFFICE - DAY PASTOR JEFF turns off his old school stereo. He looks up at SAM and NAILS. NAILS Pulling a stunt like this. PASTOR JEFF Do not step on the crushed reed Nails. OFF Nail's puzzled look. PASTOR JEFF (CONT'D) Your brother has stooped to conquer. Do likewise. Pastor Jeff regards them for a beat, to let the message sink in. And leaves. Sam takes out his phone. It's a no brainer for him. SAM (rattling as he types) Technically, if they didn't include VAT in these SMS costs, we'd be paying like one rand twenty. Plus VAT it comes one rand thirty six cents. But then they round it up coz who's going to pay thirty six cents? Nails isn't listening. He takes out his phone. Stares at it. It's a tough decision. INT. RADIO STATION - DAY MPHO stands and leaves TOOTH and TARYN alone. Taryn is impossible to read. EXT. KING PIN'S WAREHOUSE (ESTABLISHING) - DAY We are outside a warehouse or godown of some sort. INT. KING PIN'S WAREHOUSE - DAY TWO WORKMEN, in BLUE OVERALLS, one in a BLUE CAP and another in a BEANIE, stacking up boxes. PICK UP AND FOLLOW KING PIN as he walks past them, KIDY in tow. KING PIN What makes you think I'll pay for it? KIDY Coz you want it. (beat, plaintive) And I need the money. KING PIN All my money's tied up here Kidy. I need to pay for more workers. Kidy pulls the file out of her bag. KIDY I'm cheap. KING PIN I know. She hands him the file. King Pin glances over it casually. KIDY Two hundred. I can't go lower. King Pin's eyes pause. And linger for a second on something. His resumes his tone, even more nonchalant and dismissive. KING PIN There's nothing here I don't know already. A clipper. Final offer. Take it or leave it. Kidy snatches back the file. KING PIN (CONT'D) What use is it to you? Kidy hesitates. King Pin grins. He knows he's got her. INT. CHURCH AUDITORIUM - DAY LUNGI, TARYN, LINDI, NIKI, THEMBI, PASTOR JEFF AND TITUS face off with TOOTH and SAM. TARYN Three hundred and eleven people voted. Only one was against. Titus coughs. NIKI So we must just start afresh as if you didn't try to rob us? Tooth rummages in his back-pack, takes out a CD. TOOTH This is it. This is everything. I don't have another copy anywhere. It's yours. They stare at the CD in his hands. No one moves. Pastor Jeff steps forward and takes the CD. PASTOR JEFF That takes guts Tooth. Thank you. He gives the CD over to Nails. PASTOR JEFF (CONT'D) You have one week till the regionals. If I were you, I'd stop talking and start rehearsals because we are competing for only one spot at Nationals. The REMIX members trade glances. Lindi gives in. LINDI Forgive and forget guys. TARYN This is your last chance Tooth. And with that the tension is lifted. They all unwind. Tooth eases - the storm is over. TOOTH Okay then. Let's get started. Nails? What do you have for us? I was thinking maybe-- KING PIN (O.S.) Wow? So this is that Remix what what, hey? They turn towards the entrance to see-- KING PIN. Striding in. Like a boss. PASTOR JEFF Brother Nkosi. It's been-- KING PIN A year. Been busy. Trying to keep honest. (for Tooth's benefit) Unlike some people. TOOTH Hey wena. I just confessed on radio. I don't have any more secrets. KING PIN Then explain this. He holds up the file. TITUS How did you get that? Titus looks around at the pairs of eyes asking him questions. KING PIN (re: Tooth) From his beloved girlfriend. You need to be more careful who you let into your office moruti. (beat, ominously) So, it seems that our boy here hasn't completed his community service. TOOTH That's a lie! KING PIN Check it yourself. That is your hand writing Pastor? Titus glances at the file. Gulps hard. KING PIN (CONT'D) While your friends were busy working, you were running around doing your own thing. (beat) You've completed thirty five out of fifty hours. ON Tooth. Sweating. A cornered animal. He senses what's coming. King Pin grabs the file back from Titus. KING PIN (CONT'D) According to --your file-- you were supposed to finish your hours last week otherwise... (reads) Criminal proceedings may be initiated. (to Jeff and Titus, threatening) Why wasn't this reported? You were accomplices in this. If the department found out about this they could shut down this whole thing. Imagine the scandal. (beat) I don't know if the Praise and Worship Competition board would want to be associated with a church that's in the papers for all the wrong reasons. PASTOR JEFF What do you want? King Pin grins at Tooth. KING PIN I want my money and equipment back. TOOTH You can take the equipment. But I don't have any money. KING PIN Then you'll work for me. I need workers at my warehouse. No pay. You can work off the rest of your hours there. TOOTH Work for you? Never. KING PIN Otherwise I go to the Department and I go to the newspapers. (beat) I hope the Praise and Worship people will let a church that's being investigated compete. It will do so much for their image. He eyes each of them in turn. The man is not kidding. ON Tooth. Mind spinning. He looks around the room. Looks at the effort. The sacrifices that have been made. He decides. END ACT TWO ACT THREE INT. KING PIN'S WAREHOUSE - DAY TOOTH, in blue overalls, stacks boxes inside the warehouse. KING PIN is seated some way off away from him. In a camping chair. Buried beneath a soccer magazine. Feet up. A beer at his side Tooth takes one look at King Pin. He registers a mixture of despondency and disgust. His phone rings. VOICE (V.O.) Tooth! Where the hell are you? TOOTH (harsh whisper into phone) I just got held up but I'm -- VOICE (V.O.) I'm sick and tired of your stories man. Vukani's not in today. Get here in thirty minutes or else. TOOTH I'll try. VOICE (V.O.) What? King Pin looks up. Tooth turns away, shielding the phone. TOOTH I said I'll do my best. VOICE (V.O. You're best's not good enough. You're fired. You hear me? F-A-Y-A D. The line goes dead. Tooth stares at the phone. KING PIN Hey! You! Back to work! Tooth breathes hard. Temper mounting. He swallows back his anger, picks up another box. This is bullshit. INT. CHURCH AUDITORIUM - DAY REMIX are seated on the stage, each with a song sheet in hand. NAILS is facing them. NAILS So I guess the first thing we need to decide is who's going to sing lead. He looks around. No takers. NAILS (CONT'D) Lindi. LINDI I think Taryn should sing lead. And that takes everyone by surprise. TARYN What? LINDI You've worked so hard for this sana. I can't take that away from you. You sing lead. Taryn takes a second to understand this. She knows how much this means to Lindi. She blinks back tears. Lindi hugs her. TARYN Thanks friend. LINDI You deserve it sana. NIKI Okay. So like this is awkward. LUNGI (re: Nails) And I guess you'll sing lead? Nails regards Lungi for a second. NAILS No. (beat) You will. Lungi is caught off guard. He didn't expect this. LUNGI Wait? But I -- aren't we-- NAILS Aren't we what? LUNGI I just thought coz-- NAILS You're the best tenor here Lungi. This isn't about me. There it is. Nails has done what is so hard for Lungi to do, to let someone else shine. Lungi nods. He's gotten the point. NAILS (CONT'D) Okay. We're supposed to prepare at least five songs. Three minutes each. And as we leave Nails handing out more song sheets we.. CUT TO: INT. KING PIN'S WAREHOUSE - DAY TOOTH grabbing a stack of boxes. Tries to lift them off the ground. Too heavy. He tries again. BEANIE and BLUE CAP are sprawled some feet away, sipping mageus, bored. KING PIN walks in. KING PIN Hey! There's been a dead dog outside our gate for a week. Which one you drunks ran over it. BLUE CAP You know we don't drive moes. KING PIN So you just left it there? You don't care what customers will think? Blue Cap and Beanie exchange a look. Nope. They don't. KING PIN (CONT'D) Get rid of it. It's stinking! Blue Cap and Beanie don't stir. BEANIE We're on break. King Pin zeroes in on Tooth. KING PIN Tooth. Get moving. Tooth can't believe his ears. TOOTH But these guys are just-- KING PIN Move! Tooth drops the boxes and storms out, annoyed. King Pin follows. Blue Cap and Beanie snigger. They're enjoying this. INT. CHURCH AUDITORIUM - DAY We're at the tail end of a rehearsal. NAILS I think we're ready guys. He jots down on a notepad. NAILS (CONT'D) Joko Ea Hao, My God is Good, Ka Thapelo, Uphakeme Bayede and Maye. That's our five. He looks at the faces starting back at him. Total dismay and disillusionment. NAILS (CONT'D) Bafwethu. Is this a praise and worship team or a funeral procession? Lindi plonks down on the stage. LINDI We need Tooth. (beat, glances at Nails) No offence. SAM But actually Tooth missed a whole ton of rehearsals. LINDI I also did. But that doesn't mean that we must just go without him. LUNGI But the dude made his choice. NIKI It was coz he didnt want to mess up things for us Lungi. TARYN I say we stay focused and we move on. A whole lot of this was his fault. THEMBI And this was also his idea. (beat) Remix was Tooth's idea guys. LINDI Thembi's right. TARYN It doesn't matter if she's right. Tooth's gone and we can't get him back. THEMBI I know. I was just saying. NAILS Maybe there is a way guys. TARYN Let me guess. You want us to kidnap him, and make him disappear until the day of the competition. NIKI That's a crime, Taryn. We can't do that. Nails's mind is elsewhere. Coming up with something. NIKI (CONT'D) Nails? That's a felony. Nails looks up. NAILS Guys. I have an idea. You won't like it, but it may get us Tooth back. The REMIX members exchange quizzical looks. INT. KING PIN'S WAREHOUSE - DAY TOOTH sprawled on his back, wearing an odd smile. BEANIE and BLUE CAP are piling boxes, noses cringed. BEANIE Bafwethu. Please bafwethu. Change your clothes. BLUE CAP Or shower or something. Tooth grins. TOOTH I'm on break. The door swings opens to reveal -- NAILS Ekse! Tooth ma Tooth. TOOTH Nails. He's followed by LUNGI, LINDI, TARYN, NIKI, SAM and THEMBI. KING PIN strolls in. TOOTH (CONT'D) Ekse majitas. What are you guys doing here. KING PIN You're free to go Tooth. TOOTH Eh? Free..What? But... King Pin holds up a couple of CDs, a smile on his face. ON Tooth. Realization sets in. TOOTH (CONT'D) No way guys. Mara we worked so hard for this. LINDI But it's useless if you're not with us at the competition. Tooth takes this in. He doesn't quite know how to react. Nails pats him on the back. NAILS Auska worry son. We'll make many more tracks together. If Tooth were the teary sort of guy he might just cry. TOOTH Thanks guys. KING PIN Pack your things and get out of here. Beat. He sniffs the air. What's that smell? Tooth snaps out of his reverie. Makes quick. TOOTH Let's get out of here. He leads the way out. NIKI That was quick. TOOTH Don't ask. He breaks into a run. KING PIN (O.S.) What's that smell? BLUE CAP It was that guy stinking up the place. KING PIN Not it's not. It's that box. Open it... Beat. FOLLOW the REMIX members making a quick exit. KING PIN (O.S.) (CONT'D) (enraged) Hey wena! Tooth. Come back here. Toooooooooth!! EXT. THEATRE (ESTABLISHING) - DAY We are outside a theatre. The glass doors covered in posters. Upright roll-up banners stand on opposite sides of the door. "SA PRAISE AND WORSHIP REGIONAL QUALIFIERS". Faint applause and cheers emanate from within. We follow the sound to -- INT. THEATRE - DAY The stage has been transformed from a bare theatrical space to a full-on "Idols-esque" band stand. Banners hang from the trusses. Multi-coloured lights play against the colorful backdrop. Even though the auditorium is only half-full of people (because these are qualifiers, not finals) they are making enough noise to fill a stadium. And they are cheering-- A GROUP BOWING ON STAGE. We've caught the denoument of their performance. The PRESENTER, TUMI, a gorgeous woman in a breathtaking dress, prances in stage left. TUMI Ladies and gents, give it up for Newborn. She turns to the GROUP LEADER, a young man (mid-twenties) in an oversized suit. PRESENTER Tell us, what inspired your song choice. GROUP LEADER (nervous) Well, Tumi. We were inspired by having gone through betrayals by people that we love, and then we realized that the Lord Jesus is the one person who'll never betray us. TUMI Wow! And I felt it coming through your performance. Judges, what's your take? For the first time we notice a raised dais at the centre of the front row, where the THREE JUDGES sit. A middle aged black hipster - ANDILE, a black, OLD SCHOOL guy in a suit, BRA ZAKES, and a forty-ish black woman -- BUSI -- who would come across as attractive if she wasn't so stern. ANDILE For me personally. I could see you guys have rehearsed. You've put a lot of time and work into your piece. And as far as I'm concerned, you guys deserve to move to the next round. (turns to Busi) Busi? But never find out what Busi because we -- CUT TO: INT. THEATRE BACKSTAGE - DAY A GROUP comprising of six youthful artistes, THREE GUYS and THREE GIRLS, stand waiting on the wings. Ready. They show a sense of calm poise and preparedness. Professional. They are-- ANOINTED VOCALS (our faithful viewers will remember them from Episode one). LUNGI, TARYN, LINDI, THEMBI, NIKI, NAILS AND TOOTH are watching them from further down the corridor. NIKI They think they're all that. THEMBI With a tenor like that guy, so would I chomi. SOPRANO DIVA Excuse me. SOPRANO DIVA (from Episode one) pushes past them. FOLLOW her as she squeezes past the REMIX members, and stay on their stupefied faces. NAILS Yaasas, how can they allow her to sing? SAM rapidly crosses himself. NIKI Chill bhuti. If she's all that, why would she be singing with a small group. LUNGI Anointed Vocals ain't small guys. TARYN Shut up, they're going on stage. They look on as-- TUMI (O.S.) Please welcome to the stage-- (beat, razzmatazz) Anointed Vocals. Muted applause filters in. The REMIX members register despair. THEMBI Yo, bathong. We're going in after them. PASTOR JEFF If you think positive, you'll be positive. They wheel around to find-- PASTOR JEFF (CONT'D) Sorry I'm late. Came back here to wish you all good luck. LINDI Did my-- Jeff's eyes answer her question. He feels the need to soften the blow. PASTOR JEFF He said to wish you good luck. He got held up at Church and-- TARYN Hush... Jeff wraps a supporting arm around Lindi's shoulder. At least he came, right? CUT TO: INT. THEATRE STAGE - DAY ANOINTED VOCALS is lined up on the stage. The lights dim. Spotlights focus on the LEAD TENOR and the SOPRANO DIVA. Lead Tenor opens on a soulful, powerful note. Soprano Diva blends in. It's ovewhelming and uplifting. And just when we think this is going to be a two-person show-- The rest of Anointed Vocals JOINS in. It's only seven of them on stage, but man, can they sing. The harmony is other worldly. Their slow, rhythmic dancing is solemn and moving. Soprano Diva sings a solo verse that climaxes in a piercing high note. The audience is eating out of her hands by now. And they end the song. They're too cool to bow. It's obvious that they have set the bar high, and whoever comes next is in some serious trouble. CUT TO: INT. THEATRE BACKSTAGE - DAY Disbelief on the faces of REMIX. NIKI Shit. PASTOR JEFF In these circumstances, Nikiwe. I'll let you get away with that. TOOTH Chila bafwethu. We can do this. NAILS Let's start with Joko Ea Hao. Tooth regards Nails for a second. This is an inversion of roles. Tooth senses what he has to do. TOOTH Good idea. Everyone ready? Nods. TUMI (O.S.) Let's welcome onto the stage (beat) Remix... THEMBI Lungi, relax. Deep breath. LUNGI Deep breath? Ain't nobody got time for that. Let's go. They stride out onto the stage, masking their fear and lack of confidence in a false assuredness. INT. THEATRE STAGE - DAY REMIX stands assembled on stage. TOOTH takes a step forward, bows to the judges and whips around to face his team. He gives Taryn a reassuring nod and -- TARYN LEADS THEM IN THEIR PERFORMANCE of "Joko Ea Hao". It's upbeat and funky. An unexpected take on an old school classic. Within moments, the crowd is swaying from side to side, enjoying the singing, the dancing, the entire spectacle of a well-jacked musical machine. Giving them something new. PAN across the faces of the Remix members, enjoying themselves. Embracing the satisfaction of knowing that this is a job well done. They wind up their performance in a soft decrescendo. Stylish. Very stylish. The audience BREAKS into rupturous applause. Settle on the beaming faces of our singers. Their confidence is restored. They'd better be going through to the next round because now-- THEY FINALLY BELIEVE THEY CAN DO THIS. TUMI waltzes in from the wings. TUMI I think there won't be much debate about that performance, right? A chorus of "No's" and cheers from the crowd. TUMI (CONT'D) Judges? What do you have to say? ANDILE That was totally unexpected. I'm totally blown away. BUSI It's not often that one sees such a level of creativity and spontaneity in a performance. Well done, all of you. The REMIX members exchange smiles. They're through! BRA ZAKES I'd just like to add something. The tone of his voice warns them that there's a storm-a coming. BRA ZAKES (CONT'D) Even though you guys are very professional. And very polished. It seems clear to me that you are not quite there yet. Beat. The Remix member's don't quite know what to make of this. Bra Zakes continues off Tooth's quizzical gaze. BRA ZAKES (CONT'D) Praise and Worship isn't just about singing and dancing. It's got to come from inside. From your life of faith and prayer. Otherwise it would just be a concert. Gulp! They didn't see that one coming. And they've got no comeback whatsover. Bra Zakes has seen through what they themselves had never realized. BRA ZAKES (CONT'D) So even though you're through to the next round, I'd have to ask you guys to really dig deep and give us something we can believe. Thank you. That hangs there for a beat before Remix are jolted back to reality by-- TUMI Let's welcome onto the stage with a warm round of applause Gospel Adrenaline! And Tooth hurries off the stage, followed by his teammates. END ACT THREE ACT FOUR INT. BACKSTAGE REHEARSAL ROOM - DAY The REMIX members congregate in the green room. SAM See? I told you guys to come to church. NIKI Duh. Like we've been somewhere else every afternoon for the last month? Lungi sits in a corner. LUNGI I can't believe this. I've come too far for this. LINDI We've all come too far for this. PASTOR JEFF walks in. PASTOR JEFF Idle words will get you nowhere. (beat, continues) You need to humble yourselves, go down on your knees and pray. LUNGI These are new Levis. Jeff ignores him. PASTOR JEFF Who do you think gave you your ability to sing? SAM Well, genetically speaking, it came from-- Taryn gives him a sharp poke in the ribs. Shut up! PASTOR JEFF You all got your talents from above. And to whom much is given, much will be demanded of. Beat. The mood is pensive as they process this sentiment that they had forgotten about along the way. PASTOR JEFF (CONT'D) And that's what the judges want. They want you all to look deep inside your hearts and remember the real reason for praise and worship. (beat) And it's got nothing to do with trophies and competitions. The message hits home. Silence for a beat until-- NAILS Tooth, mfowethu. You should lead us in a word of prayer. Tooth looks up, surprised. Why him? PASTOR JEFF I think so too. TARYN But not like last time man, please. Tooth weighs this. He searches for the words. Sees the eyes focused on him. TOOTH Let us pray. He clears his throat. Everyone bows their heads. TOOTH (CONT'D) Modimo. In the book of Genesis you said you created human beings to work. Stares of surprise and shock all around. CLOSE ON Lindi. She can't believe Tooth reads the Bible. Tooth continues, immersed in the realness of the moment. TOOTH (CONT'D) Modimo. This is our span here. And we want to do it well. For your glory. (beat, about to continue but) Amen. A chorus of hesitant "Amens" from the other. PASTOR JEFF Amen. (beat, grins) I have to say, that's the best damn prayer I've ever heard in my life. SAM Moruti! You cursed. Jeff doesn't care. He gives Tooth a fatherly pat on the back. The young man has finally got it. OUT on Tooth. Serious. Thoughtful. A moment of epiphany as he finally understands his purpose in life. A hand links up with his. He looks up to find Lindi smiling at him. INT. THEATRE STAGE - DAY MONTAGE QUICK CUTS between different groups singing on stage. -- Trios. Quartets. Quintets. -- REMIX performing. They're ROCKING the stage. -- THE JUDGES. Beaming. Giving them nods of approval. --REMIX. Singing like they mean it. Like it's coming from within. --APPLAUSE. The audience is on its feet. --REMIX beam their thanks and walk off stage as TUMI confers with the judges. CUT TO: INT. THEATRE STAGE - DAY TUMI catwalks onto the stage. CLOSE on REMIX seated in the middle rows, on the edge of their seats. In the row behind them, ANOINTED VOCALS. This is it. The moment of judgement. ON Tumi. On the stage. TUMI On behalf of the National Praise and Worship competition team, the judges and our sponsors, we'd like to thank all the groups that have given us such a spectacular performance today. WHOOPS and YELLS from the house. Someone screams "TUMI we love you." Tumi laughs it off. Yes, she gets this all the time. TUMI (CONT'D) And now, the final scores. After the round competition, the two teams that will compete for the one spot in the National finals will be decided by a simple tally of points. She pulls out a paper. The audience grows silent. Air dripping with expectation. She unfolds the paper. TUMI (CONT'D) In eighth position. With twenty points. (beat) Zion Melody. ARRGH! The ZION MELODY team is not at all impressed. TUMI Seventh. With twenty eight points. Heavenly Cadence. Sixth. With thirty four points. Prophecy. In fifth position. With thirty nine points. Joyful Noise. (beat) Fourth. With forty two points. (beat, wait for it) Newborn. REMIX and ANOINTED VOCALS stir in excitement. The finish line is close. LINDI starts a hand-holding-chain in the row. ON TUMI. TUMI Third. With forty four points. (beat, keeps them waiting for it) Third. Is. Choirs of Angels. REMIX leap out of their seats with screams of delight. Hugs. Pats on the back. Tears. They're through to the finals. ANOINTED VOCALS behind them exchange cordial handshakes and warm smiles. They'd been expecting this. They're so smug it hurts. CHOIRS OF ANGELS give each other sad embraces and nods. At least they came third. ON TUMI. Eyes widening. TUMI (CONT'D) But...But..in a totally unexpected result. REMIX quieten down. What now? TUMI (CONT'D) Anointed Vocals comes second with forty five points. And (screaming) New Kids on the block - Remix - come first with forty six points. It's Remix and Anointed Vocals to battle it out for the single spot in the National Competition. CLOSE ON Anointed Vocals. Confused. Did they hear that right? ON REMIX. In silent disbelief. TITUS I knew you would beat them. TITUS comes up behind them. LINDI Papa. He gives Lindi a hug. Lindi springs into his hands --a little girl. LINDI Moruti Jeff said you were too busy to-- TITUS I'm never too busy for my girl. LINDI You were here all the time? TITUS I never missed a single song. (beat, quiet) You sounded just like your mother. And for the first time in a long while Lindi smiles at her father. TITUS I'm sorry. For everything. She hugs him tighter. The gap between father and daughter has been bridged. All is forgiven. The REMIX members look on, respecting the intimacy of moment. INT. BACKSTAGE REHEARSAL ROOM - DAY And we're back in the rehearsal room. LUNGI I've got it. "Yahweh". TARYN You only want to sing that because of the solo at the end. LUNGI Yeah. So? TARYN levels him with her stare. How can he be so selfish at a time like this? NIKI We could do "Rivers of Zion". THEMBI That's a great idea, choma. We could add that dance we did to spice it up nyana. She demonstrates. NAILS Thembi, we are performing in front of morutis. THEMBI Yeah. So? They're men... TOOTH looks up. TOOTH We're going to sing "Praise Him." Nails face lights up. NAILS We'll nail "Praise Him." TOOTH You remember the dance moves right? NIKI nods, illustrates the simple moves. NIKI One two. Turn turn. Step back. Forward. Turn. THEMBI and LINDI join in. TARYN There's only one problem. They turn to face her. What now? TARYN (CONT'D) I only sang that song once, remember guys? SAM Yes. With Rebecca. Now this is a whole new problem that they hadn't thought about. Silence for a beat. TARYN (re: Lindi) But Lindi knows that song in her sleep. She nods at Lindi. Lindi is caught unawares. LINDI But--you're lead. TARYN You gave me a chance, chomie, remember? Now it's my turn. Lindi takes a moment to consider this. All the eyes around the room are wishing her to do it. She breaks into a smile. Humbled. Tooth is reinvigorated. TOOTH Okay. That's settled. Majitas, are we ready to do this? He moves to the middle of the room. Stretches out his hand. TOOTH (CONT'D) Remix. On three. The rest gather round him, join hands for a group shake. TOOTH (CONT'D) One two three... All together now-- "REMIX". SAM Let's make it stink! Taryn claps him over the head. CUT TO: INT. THEATRE STAGE - DAY ANOINTED VOCALS on the stage. The auditorium is silent. Lights are dimmed. PAN ACROSS the taut faces of the REMIX members, watching from the wings. The strain is palpable. TARYN Why do the flippin judges always let them go first? LINDI Saving the best for last sana. LUNGI Hush. I'm trying to focus here. TARYN Go hush yourself. The music is cued up. And ANOINTED VOCALS begin their final performance. They sing "I Belong To You". It's poignant piece with the moving sentimentality of a negro spiritual. The audience is wrapped in silence. Soaking in the emotion. ANOINTED VOCALS are good. And THEY KNOW IT. Their calm confidence seems to almost be nailing home the point that they deserve that one place in the National Finals. ON REMIX. They're in awe. Overwhelmed by what they are listening to. Cadence brought out their big guns. And they fire straight through to the end. The CROWD BRINGS DOWN THE HOUSE with their applause. BACK ON REMIX. Daunted. TOOTH Let's go. FOLLOW Remix as they walk their way to the stage. Taking in the challenge and responding with all the professional focus they can muster. Filtering out TUMI welcoming them onto stage. Blocking out the yells of the crowd. Pushing aside their own fears. Because THIS IS IT. CUT TO: INT. THEATRE STAGE - DAY REMIX assembled on the stage. Tooth bows to the house. Turns around, arms uplifted. Ready to make magic happen. ON LINDI. Her eyes are trained on-- THE THEATRE DOORS. A WELL DRESSED MAN stands there, looking around for a seat. It's PERCY. ON LINDI She gulps. The music is cued. Nothing from Lindi. TOOTH clears his throat, tries to get her attention. Lindi's eyes are frozen on the door. CLOSE ON THE WELL DRESSED MAN. As he finds a seat and takes it. Settles down and looks up. It's PERCY. BACK ON LINDI Frozen. TOOTH (harsh whisper) Lindi. Everyone looks at her. Expectation is mounting. ON TITUS, looking on. Concern on his face. Desperately wanting Lindi to snap out of whatever the hell it is she needs to snap out of. ON LINDI. Apprehension evolves into a full on panic attack. SHE RUNS OFF STAGE. A wave of murmurs from the audience. TOOTH whips around to face the judges. TOOTH (CONT'D) Hade. I mean, sorry. We need a minute. It's er--something she ate. He gives them his million dollar smile. TOOTH (CONT'D) (sotto voce, to REMIX) Stay here. And he bolts out after Lindi. The REMIX members trade embarrassed looks. INT. BACKSTAGE ROOM - DAY LINDI rocking back and forth in a chair. Bundle of nerves. TOOTH is beside her. The look on his face says it all. She's come clean. LINDI I'm sorry. I'm sorry. TOOTH You didn't want to tell me this before? LINDI I tried but-- I'm so sorry. TOOTH (looks off, anger mounting) Son of a-- Tooth paces. The things he'll do to Percy when he gets his hands on -- He realizes their situation. This is neither the time nor the place. He gets a hold of himself. Approaches Lindi, crouches beside her. Close. Intimate. TOOTH (CONT'D) Listen to me Lindi. I want to kill that guy right now. But he's not important. You are. LINDI I can't. TOOTH I need you to find that strength you found that night at the shebeen. Lindi takes a moment. TOOTH (CONT'D) Okay? She cracks. LINDI That was different Tooth. Now there are so many eyes. Just waiting for me to fail. Tooth takes her hands in his. TOOTH Lindi. Nine nine you are the best soprano I've ever heard. Why do you think Taryn let you sing the solo in the final? Beat. Lindi's uncertainties lined across her face. TOOTH (CONT'D) Those people out there want to hear you sing. We want to hear you sing. And you want to hear you sing. (beat) Dammit, the whole world wants to hear you sing. So go out there and give it everything you've got. (beat) Because that's you. That's the woman I love. She looks into his eyes and sees the truth there. Calm. Reassuring. She holds him tight, pulls back from the hug. Transformed. Her eyes lit up. CUT TO: INT. THEATRE STAGE - DAY CLOSE ON Lindi's intense eyes. PULL OUT to reveal-- Lindi on stage. Looking at the crowd. Brimming with confidence. TOOTH raises his arms with finality. And Lindi BREAKS FORTH into a solo that would put Whitney Houston (may her soul rest in peace) and all the divas that came after her to shame. And as the remixed groovy beats of "Praise Him" rock the theatre. The REMIX members sing and dance their hearts out. It's a start contrast to the preceding performance. They are lively, jovial. Funky. They're kicking it. And enjoying every moment. The house is ON IT'S FEET. Moving to the music. Remix rocking this crowd as only the best house DJs could. And right at the climax of their well-timed, perfectly harmonized spectacle-- The tempo drops back to the soulful, slow opening. Lindi hits every closing note of the final lines with a raw perfection that makes them come alive with emotion. The audience is hushed, wondering how such a small body can make such a powerful, mature and rich tone. And so do we. Her final note lingers in the air. Everyone remains in their seat. And we are also left wondering whether or not this has come to an end. Because the truth is-- We don't want it to. WE WANT IT TO CONTINUE FOREVER. A sound breaks the still magic of the auditorium. CLAP-- CLAP-- CLAP. ON TITUS, rising to his feet with a slow clap. Jeff, beside him, does likewise. So too the people beside them. And in a few seconds, like a wildfire sweeping through Table Mountain, a hurricane of astonished applause takes the audience by storm and doesn't let them go what feels like a good minute. THIS IS MOVING ladies and gentlemen. This is Praise and Worship as it's meant to be. OUT on the beaming faces of REMIX. Close on LINDI. Close on Tooth. Seventh heaven. ON TUMI. Strutting onto the stage. TUMI Thank you. Thank you for two wonderful performances. (beat) They've brought it down to the wire. I'd hate to have to be one of the judges right now. The crowd quietens down. Anticipation mounting. Tumi turns to the judges. TUMI (CONT'D) Judges. Their fates are in your hands. Which of these two groups, will represent Gauteng in the National Praise and Worship Finals? Beat. The judges exchange looks. TUMI (CONT'D) Your votes please. ANDILE stirs, clears his throat. ANDILE Mina. I was quite impressed by Anointed Vocals. They were tight. They were professional. But in terms of taking me where I wanted to go-- (beat, deep breath) I'll have to go with Remix. TARYN screams and hugs Sam. Remix are tingling with excitement. Anointed Vocals look on in determined silence. It's not over yet. TUMI Busi? BUSI Well Tumi. Personally. I feel that both groups came here with a clear agenda to get into the finals. They both put their hearts and souls into it, and if I could have two teams going through to Nationals I'd vote for them both. (beat) But since I can't. I'd have to go with-- (beat) Anointed Vocals. A SHRILL CHEER from Soprano Diva. The Anointed Vocal members high five each other. TUMI This is a true photo finish. Bra Zakes. It's up to you now. Who's going to go through to the National Finals? ZAKES is quiet. His mind is crunching away. He looks at Anointed. Looks at Remix. Back at Anointed. Back at Remix. Tooth bows his head, awaiting the verdict that will determine whether all his efforts come to fruition or to naught. And with that we-- END ACT FOUR ACT FOUR INT. THEATRE STAGE - DAY ON TOOTH's anxious face. Eyes trained -- ON BRA ZAKES. He takes a deep breath. BRA ZAKES You've both worked so hard. It kills me to have to disappoint one of you. (beat) But for me, neh, the main thing is - what do I think mzansi wants to hear? (beat) And I'd have to say its-- ANOINTED VOC-- AAAAARRRRHHH! ANOINTED VOCALS go ape-shit. They're flipping out. Screams. Shouts. Joy. Tears. Hugs. And relief. ON REMIX. Deflated. Incarnating the agony of deafeat. TOOTH goes over to the LEAD TENOR and shakes his hand. Nails follows suit, and in an instant, they're all exchanging congratulatory hand shakes. The small gesture that keeps REMIX's dignity intact. BRA ZAKES (CONT'D) I'm not done yet. What was that? They all spin around to face Zakes, in wrapt attention. BRA ZAKES (CONT'D) Remix aren't through to Nationals, but you deserve a special mention for giving mzansi something it's never heard before. Thank you. Tooth steps forward, takes the mic from TUMI. BRA ZAKES (CONT'D) Thank you. Mara the guy who deserve the praise is my auti here. Nails. The REMIX members shout and whoop. Giving Nails the acclaim he so rightly deserves. And Nails is actually blushing. NIKI You deserve it bhuti. She pulls him into a tight hug. Tooth pats Nails shoulder. Lead Tenor wanders over. LEAD TENOR I hate to say it but -- you guys deserved to win. Tooth smiles his thanks. ON Lungi and Sam, sharing a look of mutual understanding. They grab Nails and hoist him shoulder high. The girls YELL. They carry him off the stage in a mini-procession. The house crowds around them, patting their backs, whistling, whooping. It's like "Rocky" without the "Adrian!" TUMI is on stage trying to say something but getting drowned out by the cheers of the fans squeezed around REMIX. Bra Zakes works his way through the crowd. He reaches out to Nails, business card in hand. BRA ZAKES Here's my card. Call me. Nails takes the offered card, mouths his thanks. OFF his radiant face. EXT. CHURCH - DAY Braai smoke wafts through the air. Music blaring. TOOTH and NAILS working the decks. TITUS, in a kiss-the-chef apron, turns some chicken over on a sizzling BRAAI STAND. LINDI, his lovely assistant, takes a full tray, playing the waitress. In the middle of the yard, the REMIX members are kicking it. LUNGI dances with THEMBI. SAM with TARYN. And ELMARIE VAN ZYL is busting some awkward moves with BISHOP ZERUBBABEL PHAKATI. It looks like they're both cult fans of Grease. The Bishop dances over to Tooth and Nails. BISHOP PHAKATI So I hear you boys are very talented. TOOTH It's what they say ko strateng. BISHOP PHAKATI (to Tooth ) We've been looking for sometime now for some one to teach music to the other praise teams in the diocese. It's a lot of work. Full time. You interested? Tooth trades looks with Nails. We can see -- he's not leaving his boy behind. TOOTH Sounds like too much work for one man. The Bishop gets his drift. Glances at Nails. BISHOP PHAKATI I'm sure we can work something out. TOOTH Then you've found yourself some music teachers moruti. BISHOP PHAKATI Amen to that. Let's speak about it on Monday. For now, enjoy! He dances off. Tooth and Nails are dumbfounded. They've just gotten their first official jobs in real life. Nails pats his back. NAILS We're now employed son. Tooth is staggered. TOOTH Oh my God. I can afford to pay rent now. (beat) I need a drink. ON PASTOR JEFF as he mans the cooler box. TOOTH wanders over to him. TOOTH (CONT'D) Ekse ntate. Kikela ispinza. JEFF gives him the beady eye. Tooth ought to know better. He rummages within the cooler box. PASTOR JEFF Cool drinks only. Grapetiser. Orange juice. Coke. TOOTH (pointing) Hau! And the zamalek? Tooth pulls out a dumpie from the cooler box. Jeff reels - how on earth did that get in there? TOOTH (CONT'D) (winks) Sharp bhoza. And he takes off, dumpie in hand, before Jeff can recover from the shock. Tooth shoots a sly look at-- NAILS. Grinning. At his feet, four or five more dumpies. They trade a thumbs up. NIKI Hey bhuti. Wanna dance? NAILS Er-- sho. Mara I'm busy deejaying and-- NIKI Ow come on. She drags him away from the deck and onto the "dance floor." She makes a clumsy effort at sbujwa. It's everything Nails can do to keep from laughing, but he joins in wholeheartedly, the bond between these two growing. ON TOOTH. Shaking his head in disbelief. LINDI IKuku? Tooth snaps around to find LINDI holding out a tray laden with chicken. Off his is confusion around the double-meaning. TOOTH Sho. I mean--no. I mean-- (beat) Sho. Thanks. He picks a piece. Lindi smiles at him, lingers for a beat. The music changes from a house groove to a slow R&B song. Tooth sees an opening. TOOTH (CONT'D) (flawless Xhosa) Ungathanda ukudansa? Lindi falters. Looks at the tray. Tooth registers Lungi and Thembi are dancing close by. He taps Lungi's shoulder. TOOTH (CONT'D) Ekse Lungstar. Lungi jerks around -- Tooth grabs the tray and dumps it in his hands. TOOTH (CONT'D) Sho bafwethu. LUNGI Hey! What the-- But Tooth's already swept Lindi away in his arms, slow dancing across the yard. THEMBI Sho. Thanks. I was starving. She picks a piece off the tray. And we leave Lungi looking put out and -- SETTLE ON TITUS. Scowling. Watching Tooth and Lindi as they slow dance together. CLOSE ON TOOTH AND LINDI. The sexual tension between these two is heavy. TOOTH Listen. I've been meaning to-- LINDI I know. Tooth gazes at her. Questions in his eyes. And in our minds. Fortunately Lindi fills us in. LINDI (CONT'D) I don't know if I'm ready to get into something again right now, Tooth. Tooth face falls. But he smiles and nods. A true gentleman. She sees his pain, offers him a ray of hope-- LINDI (CONT'D) But if you can wait-- TOOTH (I'm serious about you) I'll wait. She searches his eyes, and finds the confirmation she seeks there. He means it. She returns his smile, leans in and kisses him on the cheek. She pulls away and leaves. Tooth watches her go, renewed resolution all over his face. The woman has just walked away with his heart. But this time we know he'll wait for her. He turns to watch Nails and Niki. Dancing away. A nostalgic, longing in his eyes. Wondering why he couldn't be that lucky with love. BZZZZZZ! Feedback from the microphone breaks the moment. ANGLE ON PASTOR JEFF, on the DJ Decks. PASTOR JEFF How do you turn off this thing. Nails rushes to his assistance, turns down the music. PASTOR JEFF (CONT'D) (beat, into mic) Ahem. I just thought I'd say a few words-- GROANS and MOANS from the small crowd. PASTOR JEFF (CONT'D) (quickly) It'll be brief. Brevity is the soul of wit, heh heh-- (beat, off their deadpan stares) Okay. Okay. Firstly I want to thank Bishop Phakhati and Miss Van Zyl for joining us. THEMBI Ayoba! NAILS Woop woop! PASTOR JEFF Yes. And I would also like to thank Pastor Titus. For being the best right hand man I could ever wish for. Someone whistles in the crowd. ON TITUS. Abashed. Not used to the attention. PASTOR JEFF (CONT'D) And I'd like to thank Remix. For putting Youth Harvest back on the map. And even though we didn't make it to the finals--mzansi now knows (beat) That we are coming! Yells and shrieks cut him off. Jeff grins. Finds Titus by the braai stand. PASTOR JEFF (CONT'D) Titus. Please. A word. He offers him the mic. ON TITUS. Hesitant. Tooth starts a slow chant. TOOTH Titus--Titus-- The other join in. "Titus--Titus--Titus." CLOSE on Lindi. Radiant. Chanting with the rest. Titus shrugs -- Okay. Fine. Whatever. Pulls off his apron and makes his way to the DJ deck amidst raucous cheering. TITUS Thank you. (beat, matter-of-fact) Firstly I want to thank Bishop Phakati for -- BISHOP PHAKATI (yells) Protocol has already been observed Pastor. lol! Laughter from the crowd. Titus smiles. Continues. TITUS Yes. Alright. (beat, weighing his words) I remember that first day when I met Tooth, Thembi, Nails and Niki. We got off to a bumpy start-- THEMBI (yells) Sorry? More laughter.. TITUS (forcing himself to be serious ) But over the past two months, I've come to learn a lot from you -- guys. And I'd like to thank you all - (beat, looks at Lindi) For everything you've taught me. (beat) Ndiyabulela. He puts down the mic and walks off the stage. Tooth raises a round of clapping. The others follow suit. Heartfelt and warm. They thought they'd never see the human side of Titus. Tooth moves to the stage, picks up the mic. TOOTH Ey guys. I want to say a big thank you to -- Sam. ON Sam. Pleasantly surprised. TOOTH (CONT'D) Thanks for keeping us on the straight and narrow. Sam blushes. Taryn smiles at him, gives him a playful shove. TOOTH (CONT'D) (off Taryn's smile) And Taryn. You always kept us thinking straight. TARYN Next time I want pay. Chuckles from the crowd. TOOTH Niki. Thanks for helping us see things from -- your -- from the other side. Niki smiles, doubtful of the compliment. TOOTH (CONT'D) Lungi. You kept us looking good. Lungi straightens his sports coat. You're damn right. TOOTH (CONT'D) Thembi. (beat, off her expectant look) Well. Thanks for being--you. And that's good enough for her. She beams her gratitude. TOOTH (CONT'D) Lindi. (beat, searching for the words) That strength you found inside. It inspired us all. TITUS wraps an arm around Lindi. She also inspired him. TOOTH (CONT'D) And lastly. To the heart and soul of Remix. The man who made all of tis possible. He looks at his friend. His boy. His brother. TOOTH (CONT'D) Nails! And that just does it. Their acclamation is definitive. And deafening. Nails is confused and overwhelmed and embarrassed at the same time. ON TOOTH. TOOTH (CONT'D) Before the last get down. Moruti Jeff and Titus. We have something special for you. He nods to the rest of REMIX. They assemble next to him. TOOTH (CONT'D) This one is a special one. It's not for any competition or anything. It's to say thank you to the Bishop, to the morutis and to God. ON REMIX. Beaming. PAN across the bright, eager faces of LUNGI, SAM, NAILS, THEMBI, NIKI AND LINDI. They BURST into song. FADE OUT. END OF SHOW