DR Peter Langmead, director of Zambia’s first musical feature, says there is need to see more locally made films. Speaking at the premiere of Damyna The Musical in Lusaka last week, Dr Langmead also advised local filmmakers to prepare for the amount of work involved.
“We’d all like to see more films made in Zambia by Zambians,” Dr Langmead said at the Ster Kinekor Cinema Manda Hill last Thursday. “There are now, as far as I know, four or five people making feature films in Zambia, which is quite a step up, so hopefully we’ll see a lot more progress in that area.”
His advice to anyone wanting to make a film: “Well, it’s extremely hard work. The little pats of time called principal photography is extraordinarily hard work for everyone and then they all leave you and let you get on with it, which is roughly how it turns out to be.”
Damyna The Musical was a development from Damyna The Opera, which was performed at the Lusaka Playhouse in 2014. Dr Langmead commended the film’s cast and crew, some of whom were also in the opera, for helping him make the musical.
“The story arose essentially from my travels around Zambia in agriculture development, so I used to find myself in some fairly remote places,” he said. “And a lot of the anecdotal stories that happen in this film have come from that experience. And I thoroughly enjoyed that.”
He reserved particular praise for the film’s leading lady Josephine Kachiza, who received the Dikalo award for best actress bestowed at the Festival International du Film PanAfricain held in Cannes, France last year. Sylvain Berger, the French Ambassador to Zambia, presented the award to Kachiza, 25, shortly before the Lusaka premiere.
“I would like to congratulate Josephine,” Dr Langmead said. “She did a wonderful job of showing us all how to act and sing.”
Damyna The Musical debuted at the festival in Cannes last year, having been selected from more than 50 films from over 30 countries.
The film was shot on location in Zambia by Dr Langmead and supported by renowned BBC lighting cameraman Denis Borrow (Superman, William & Kate: A Royal Engagement) as director of photography, with music director Joseph Muyunda and editor Kalenga Mwansa.
Dr Langmead is currently working on the script of his second film, which is also expected to be a musical, produced in Zambia, for release this year.
“We will be making some more. The next one is nearly ready and we’ll be casting quite shortly,” says Dr Langmead.