Where women have no choice or voice
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Post-production work is nearing completion on the first African musical film to be produced in Zambia. The film is set to be unveiled at the Discop Africa (www.discopafrica.com), the television and online content industry gathering in Johannesburg next week (November 2-4, 2016), where leading broadcast specialists will be meeting to find out about the latest talent and releases from across the continent. The romantic drama, Damyna the Musical, 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 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 Ling’ope 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 sub-text that explores he 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. The film is in late post-production and is expected to be ready in November 2016 and will be showcased at the forthcoming Discop Africa (www.discopafrica.com) television and online content industry gathering in Johannesburg in November. While completing ‘Damyna the Musical’, Peter Langmead is working on the script of his second film Borderline (working title), which is expected to be a musical, produced in Zambia, for release in late 2017.