Abramorama has acquired the global theatrical rights — with the exception of the U.K. and Ireland — and direct-to-consumers rights to “Getting It Back: The Story of Cymande,” the award-winning music documentary directed by Tim MacKenzie-Smith. Abramorama will launch its U.S. and Canadian theatrical release in early April, following its upcoming U.K. theatrical release.
“Abramorama is honored to bring Tim MacKenzie-Smith’s heartfelt documentary about the band Cymande to fans around the world. Their music has influenced artists of all genres and is as impactful today as it was when first released. Cymande continues to reach new fans and I think 2024 is going to be a huge year for the band, with sold out concerts around the world, a new record coming out soon, and the global release of their documentary,” Abramorama’s president and head of international distribution Evan Saxon said in a statement.
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A group of Black British musicians who all came to the U.K. from the Caribbean as children, Cymande released three albums in succession in the early 1970s, which were embraced in the U.S. However, the band faced prejudice in U.K. and were largely ignored. Although they split in 1975, their music lived on as successive generations of artists and fans of hip hop, house, R&B and more found their songs.
The documentary will explore the band’s impact and legacy, featuring interviews with band members and influential figures such as Mark Ronson, Laura Lee and Mark Speer (Khruangbin), DJ Maseo (De La Soul), Jazzie B (Soul II Soul), Cut Chemist, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Louie Vega and Kool DJ Red Alert. Their influence can be heard in dozens of samples taken from their albums from those such as DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, The Wu-Tang Clan, Norman Cook/Fatboy Slim and The Fugees.
In support of the film, Cymande will go on a worldwide tour in 2024 and is currently working on new music to be released this year as well.
“We are delighted to be partnering up with Abramorama to bring the film to a global audience. As soon as we started discussions with Evan and the team, we knew they would be a great fit. They immediately understood how it important was that we spread the message of Cymande far and wide, and we cannot wait to get started,” MacKenzie-Smith said in a statement.
John Battsek and Daniel Gordon serve as executive producers, with Matt Wyllie producing and editing. “Getting It Back: The Story of Cymande” had its world premiere at the 2022 SXSW Festival, followed by a U.K. premiere at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival. It has also screened at Doclisboa and Doc ‘n’ Roll Festival, where it won the documentary of the year jury award in 2022.
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