12 Aug 2021
Marketing Derby, along with a number of other Bondholders, have pledged their support for a new feature film project called Moz’s Band.
The brainchild of Derby-born film-maker David Chabeaux, the feature-length documentary aims to remember and celebrate the marching band community in Derby and the East Midlands.
It will tell the story of the “banding” movement, which was born in Derby during the mid-1930s.
At its height, the banding community involved 10,000 people and more than 100 bands.
The community was pioneered and inspired by David’s grandfather Maurice “Moz” Ward.
For six decades, they would converge each weekend of the spring and summer at a carnival or festival somewhere in England to compete in band contests – all while kitted out in their weird, wonderful and garish uniforms.
Described as being like “one enormous family”, they would also gather throughout the year at discos, sports tournaments and social events, before slowly dying out after Moz passed away in 1994.
It is hoped that the film, which is being produced by a consortium of individuals, foundations and businesses in the region, as well as partners in the US, will be screened at major international film festivals to showcase a strong part of East Midlands (and UK) heritage to the rest of the world.
David is now seeking further funding from firms based in the region to take it to the next stage of production.
David, of Spondon, is a successful actor and musician. He starred in Hollyoaks and Sky Atlantic show Bulletproof. He recently wrapped up filming for series six of Peaky Blinders, where he stars in several critical scenes.
In Moz’s Band, he aims to tell the historical story of Moz, his Derby Serenaders and the banding movement – while bringing the narrative into a present-day focus.
He said: “Moz is my grandfather, so I literally grew up around this extraordinary man and musical community.
“For nearly 40 years, while working as a welder for British Rail in Derby, he spent his nights and weekends inspiring the marching band movement – also leading his own band The Derby Serenaders to three European and 23 UK marching band titles in 27 years and an appearance to 19 million viewers on the BBC’s Generation Game.
“I’ve been attracted to the idea of this project for a long time because the subject matter has never left me.
“We all want to belong, to have purpose in our lives, and in this hyper-materialistic world, the more we discover that trying to fill the void inside us with ’stuff’ doesn’t work, the more there’s a tendency to search for authentic ways to find belonging and purpose without it.
“My grandfather’s story is obviously very important to me and I’m interested in the journey he took – as a musician, leader and a working-class man – inspiring me and so many others, with the promise of money and ‘stuff' nowhere in sight.
“The film is an exploration of what it really means to belong, and what that might mean in today’s world.”
The team has already raised an initial £25,000 of seed funding for Moz’s Band and pre-production is almost complete.
It is now fundraising for about £250,000 for the production, post-production and distribution of the film, which is earmarked for a full UK cinema release and submission to all the major international film festivals, perhaps as early as summer 2022.
Sponsorship and film credit packages are being offered to businesses that offer financial support.
Organisations supporting and promoting the project include Alstom, QUAD, Derby City Council and the University of Derby.
Meanwhile, East Midlands Chamber and Marketing Derby are co-hosting an event at QUAD on 14 September, which will involve an exclusive cinema screening of the Moz’s Band ‘sizzle reel’ trailer.
This will be followed by an on-stage Q&A with David and QUAD chief executive Adam Buss.
John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: “We are delighted to be hosting an event, together with the chamber, to support this initiative as another example of something that draws on Derby's rich cultural heritage.”
Scott Knowles, chief executive at the chamber, said: “We’re hugely excited about the opportunity this film offers for the region by showcasing another great element of our heritage that people may not know about.
“It’s a film made for, with and about our community, and we feel it could act as a force that galvanises our region around a common purpose.”
To view the Moz’s Band sizzle reel trailer, please click here.
For more information on supporting the project, contact David on 07590 850266 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.