ATO Productions -- a sister company to ATO Records, co-founded by Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band -- has become a producing partner with Kwela Productions on "Amandla! A Revolution in Four Par
ATO Productions -- a sister company to ATO Records, co-founded by Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band -- has become a producing partner with Kwela Productions on "Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony." At the recent Sundance Film Festival in Utah, "Amandla!" won both the audience award for best documentary and the Freedom of Expression Award. The film, which chronicles the use of music in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, had Sundance audiences up and dancing by the time it ended.
Through the partnership, ATO Records will produce and distribute the "Amandla!" soundtrack as well as an all-star album produced by Matthews and "Amandla!" filmmakers, director/producer Lee Hirsch and producer Sherry Simpson. The album is to be a collaboration of Western and South African musicians inspired by the music and themes of the film.
According to Chris Tetzeli, a partner in ATO Records, a copy of the film was sent to the label in hopes of striking a soundtrack deal with the record company. "They didn't know that we were thinking about a film company, at that time," he said. "Once we saw the film, we were so blown away that we decided that this was the time and this was the film to start things off."
Plans call for ATO to have two to three films in development by the end of 2002. The company's label arm is the North American home to such artists as David Gray, Patty Griffin, Ben Kweller, and Gov't Mule.
As previously reported, Dave Matthews Band's spring U.S. tour kicks off April 4 in Washington, D.C.