Currently touring the international film festival circuit, after a local December 2016 premiere, is what the filmmakers are calling the first musical film to be produced in Zambia, titled “Damyna the Musical.”
Last fall, the film was showcased and generated some buzz at Discop Africa – the television and online content industry gathering in Johannesburg, where leading broadcast specialists meet to find out about the latest talent and releases from across the continent.
The romantic drama weaves a story of family secrets and a witch doctor’s spells that conspire to confuse the life of an orphaned girl whose quest for love brings her village into conflict with the world of international development agencies. The story is based on the operatic stage work written by Langmead, which premiered at the Lusaka Playhouse in 2014. The film explores wealth and poverty, rural and urban spaces, multiculturalism, education, along with themes of racism, feminism, inequality, sexism and colonialism.
“Damyna” stars Josephine Kachiza as the title character; Mubita Ling’ope and Tom Chiponge as the witch doctor, also star. Earlier this month, for her performance as the title character, Kachiza won the award for Best Female Performance at the Festival International du Film Panafricain which takes place annually in Cannesl.
The film was shot on location in Zambia with local cast and crew, directed by long-time local resident Peter Langmead, and is supported by renowned BBC lighting cameraman Denis Borrow (“Superman,” “The Queen at 80,” “Richard Attenborough: A Life in Film”) as Director of Photography, with Music Director Joseph Muyunda and Editor Kalenga Mwansa.
“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 Langmead. “The production harnessed that energy to create a vibrant, light-hearted movie with a powerful sub-text that explores he changes facing African societies as they grapple with the dualities of global influence.”
While completing “Damyna the Musical,” Peter Langmead is working on the script of his second film “Borderline” (working title), which is expected to also be a musical, produced in Zambia, for release in late 2017.
No word on how far “Damyna the Musical” will travel, but we’re tracking it.