Who is Cymande?

Fresh from a World Premiere at SXSW and an award winning global festival tour, Chawshay Films is delighted to confirm that Getting It Back: The Story of Cymande will be returning home for its UK Premiere at the 66th BFI London Film Festival. The documentary will have its UK Premiere in front of a sold out audience on 13th October with an additional screening on Sunday 16th October.

In the racially turbulent UK of the early 70s, a group of black musicians came together in South London with a common love of rhythms and a message of peace. Cymande – with the dove as their symbol – combined jazz, funk, soul and Caribbean grooves to form a unique sound. Despite success in the USA they faced indifference in their native Britain, becoming disillusioned and disbanding. But the music lived on, as new generations of artists imbibed and reworked their pioneering sounds in fresh ways. From Soul II Soul to De La Soul, MC Solaar to The Fugees, the Dove had spread Cymande’s message far and wide, prompting their return after forty years. This is their story.

They’re the greatest band you’ve never heard of…

The British group Cymande are unsung heroes whose message of peace, love and funk sailed beyond Britain’s shores and helped shape music for five decades. Long after they stopped playing, the music played on, so they returned to play some more.

Now their story is told on screen for for the first time, with tributes from a galaxy of musicians and producers influenced and enthralled by their music, including Mark Ronson, Norman Jay, Jazzie B, DJ Maseo of De La Soul, Jim James and Louie Vega.

Excited about the release, director Tim Mackenzie-Smith said; “We’re absolutely delighted to be screening Getting It Back at the 66th London Film Festival, in what will be our UK Premiere. After an award winning worldwide festival run, we cannot wait to show the film to audiences in Cymande’s hometown, the city where this amazing music was created. The making of this documentary has been a five year labour of love for us all and it’s a true honour for us to share Cymande’s story, the music and their message“.