Zambias first musical feature film to debut at PanAfricain Film Festival in Cannes
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 11:25
The first African musical film to be produced in Zambia will be debuted at the Le Festival International du Film PanAfricain in Cannes on 8 April 2017. Damyna the Musical will be screened at the Palm Beach at 20h15 during the 14th edition of the festival, which pays tribute to African-American Independent Cinema.
With the theme "USA: Yesterday - Today & Tomorrow", the festival will provide film-lovers with a wide choice between films from Africa, its diaspora and the rest of the world.
The event, from April 5-9, 2017, is expected to attract more than professionals and feature over 50 movies from 30 countries, while conferences, workshops, showcases, exhibitions as well as a "Salon PanAfricain" will also animate the festival.
Damyna the Musical captures the essence of African society, both rural and urban, and we believe that this film will also capture the hearts of the African diaspora worldwide, said director Peter Langmead. It resonates with Africans abroad at many levels and also connects Africans across borders within the continent, as well as breaking down barriers to present a real view of Africa to the West without the stereotypes and misconceptions that are all too often portrayed in the media.
The romantic drama, Damyna the Musical, weaves a story of family secrets and a witch doctors spells that conspire to confuse the life of an orphaned girl whose quest for love brings her traditional African village into conflict with the sophisticated world of international development agencies.
The film was shot on location in Zambia with local cast and crew directed by long-term local resident Peter Langmead and supported by renowned BBC lighting cameraman Denis Borrow (Superman, The Queen at 80, Richard Attenborough: A Life in Film, Piers Morgan On..., William & Kate: A Royal Engagement) as Director of Photography, with Music Director Joseph Muyunda and Editor Kalenga Mwansa.
The lead role of Damyna is played by Josephine Kachiza with Mubita Lingope as Por Phiri and Tom Chiponge as the witch doctor.
Producing a musical that reflects the contrasts of African rural and urban life was a challenge that the whole cast took to their hearts, said Dr Langmead. The production harnessed that energy to create a vibrant, light-hearted movie with a powerful subtext that explores the changes facing African societies as they grapple with the dualities of global influence.
The story is based on the operatic stage work written by Dr Langmead and premiered at the Lusaka Playhouse in 2014. Damyna the Musical combines the tale of a rural romance with the subtext of his observation and exploration of African culture, bringing together 40 years of experience of working with rural communities across the continent, viewed with the perspective of an outsider who is equally at home in the worlds of international finance and fine art as in the countryside. In doing so, he communicates the vibrancy of life, chronicles the aspirations of ordinary people and portrays a long overdue positive image of African life.
Where women have no choice or voice, Damyna the Musical reflects on philandering men who neglect and deny their children, resulting in unschooled orphans and second class citizens, often without identity. Secondary themes are belief in witch doctors, mixed race relationships, human ownership, adoption issues and responsibilities, and ill-advised donor activity. The film explores the inherent dualities of wealth and poverty, rural and urban spaces, multiculturalism and the educated and uneducated, along with concepts of racism, feminism, inequality, sexism and colonialism.
Having completed Damyna the Musical, Peter Langmead is working on the script of his second film Borderline (working title), which is also expected to be a musical, produced in Zambia, for release in early 2018.