(Directed by Phad Mutumba, Canada / Uganda, 105 minutes, 2011)
The lighthearted drama follows four young women trying to make it big in the music world with their Afro-pop band based in the most unlikely of places: chilly Montreal, Canada. When the girls unsuccessfully try to balance their day jobs, love lives, and band responsibilities, tensions flare and threaten to break up not just the band, but their close friendships as well.
Zanzibar International Film Festival Executive Director Dr. Martin Mhando said of the film, “This is a Knock Out! Emotionally charged and that’s what Zanzibari / African audiences will resonate with… Absolutely a charm.” In addition to being an up and coming filmmaker, Mr. Mutumba is also a singer songwriter (his stage name is Phad A. Rhymz), and both acts in, and contributes many songs to this music filled film.
In fact, all the band members in Making the Band lend their voices to the soundtrack, including lead actor and Haitian-Canadian Whitsa Jean, who has sung back up to Empire Isis, Catburglaz, and Mitsou to name just a few. Her character Shabella is a single mother trying to pursue her dream of being a singer while juggling babysitting, daycare, and big money problems. Rounding out the filmmaking team is West-Indian Canadian Faisal Lutchmedial, who served as the co-screenwriter (story by Mutumba and Bantarizah), cinematographer, and editor. Lutchmedial also was the editor of Mutumba and Bantarizah’s first film, My Policy (85 min / 2010), which won the Chairman’s Award at Zanzibar last year.
Making the Band was produced by Simpli Phaz Entertainment, and produced in association with Green Dragon Productions, and Rail City Media.