We have all heard the names, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and BB. King, but few and far apart remember the name Magic Sam. Though now he's known in tight blues circles and record collectors alike, his name and history still goes under represented.
Born in Grenada Mississippi to a farm working family. Sam was more musically inclined and he decided to move to Chicago at age 15 with his aunt, where he quickly learned blues guitar by hanging around the legends of his time such as Lowell Fulson and Muddy Waters. He soon began playing opening gigs and school dances for as low as 2 dollars a night. Sam just wanted to play. Soon his name started to rise, his fierce style and strong vocal ability set him apart from the others. Just as he was looking for a deal with Columbia records, he was drafted into Vietnam. Sam despised his luck and ran out on his duty and was sentenced to six months in jail. By the time he returned his competition had advanced and Sam was left behind. He continued to play the club scene but was pushed around by poor management and union dues. His health began to fail and caused him to collapse while on a small tour. He came back home and continued to play relentlessly. Sam wasn't alone he had his girlfriend Leola who was his rock and ever supportive partner, and their children whom he loved and cared for very much. Sam's fame came back to prominence after he was invited to play at the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival and was sure to strike a big deal with ABC but only two months later he died of a heart attack at age 32.
He left behind an unfinished legacy, and a sound that has yet to be replicated.
Our story will follow Sam in the final weeks of his life, as he juggles his family, health, and his relentless passion for playing the blues.
Our highly stylized piece will push you through the pivotal moments in Sam's life and lead us into the examination of his passion for the music he played and where it came from. We will meet devoted girlfriend Leola whom Sam had an immense love for and their children. We will also meet a famed figure of blues music at the time, Dick Waterman. A blues producer from California who made the careers of bluesman looking for a break in the late 1960's. Finally we will share with you Sam's private moments as he prepares for what he will consider the most important performance of his life, while battling his failing heart.
Our funding will go directly to our production team such as our Producer, Cinematographer, Production Designer, Hair and Make up, Costume Designers, Editor, Equipment Rentals, Grip, Gaff, Actors and food to keep our crew happy and ready to work. The funds will also be used for our distribution to make sure we are able to submit to festivals and get our film and Sam recognized.
This story is especially close to my heart because its' musical history that I care for deeply since I was able to understand music. I am a deeply passionate listener. A BB. King blues CD was the first I heard when I was five and played it out until it was unusable. After that I began my journey into my obsession with the blues and other styles alike, but after I heard Magic Sam while in a YouTube rabbit hole my sophomore year of high school, I now firmly believe he would have been named amongst the greatest blues musicians of all time. If not The best.
One of our biggest challenges will come at the expense that this piece will be shot in El Paso Texas while the film takes place in October 1969 West Side Chicago. We have a dedicated plan for an immense art department and costume design, but your help will make this so much easier.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support of our vision but more so for helping us bring Magic Sam to the forefront of the art world at large
Diego Davila, Born and raised in the borderland between Mexico and the United States, since early childhood he was interested in the power of cinema and how it can create bridges among communities and generations. Since he studied at the University of Texas at El Paso Diego has been deeply involved with the local film community. Diego has a diverse background in advertisement, independent documentaries, short films, features, commercials and corporate advertisement.
His latest Director of Photography credits include;
-Dolos (2022, TV, Episodic premiered on the CW)
- Sunset Roses (Short Film, Official Selection for “A Night of Misfits Films”, 2023 Phoenix, Arizona)
- A River Runs On Cliff Street (Short Film, Official U.S. Premiere at Houston Latino Film Festival’s Cine De Muertos, 2023)
- “Experiencing the Bosque” (2023, Experimental Doc), produced by Somos Agua collective. This project shed a light on the history and importance of the Rio Bosque region.
He’s also done work for local and national music scenes, doing photography and camera operation for music videos such as;
-Amalia Mondragon’s “Que Calor” (2021)
-Frontera Bugalu’s “Humanidad” (2023)
-The Sloppy Boys’ “Running with the Bulls” (2023).
Diego recently shot and produced a conceptual visualizer for New York composer Neil Rodnick’s piece “En La Frontera” (2023), which was shot over the course of the 2023 summer and projected with music from the Onix Ensemble at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, in Mexico City.
In conclusion, "Ever since I discovered the blues and its many forms as an angsty teenager, I’ve always wanted to be involved in a production centered around the legends and realities of giving your life to the Blues. It’s my way of thanking the folks who gave me one more way to navigate the world and reflect my role in it”
Diego Munoz Holguin is an award winning writer/director from El Paso, Texas. His most recent films have been accepted into film festivals across the United States and Canada. Most notably his film A River Runs On Cliff Street made its U.S. premiere at Houston Latino Film Festival's Cine De Muertos 2023. Among his other notable works Diego has been recognized as an immensely introspective writer and his moving image is described as raw, and a naturalistic approach to directing. Along with film Diego is an active theatre arts director and performer.
Black Magic will be Diego's third short film, he and his team will strive to make this their crowning gem of accomplishment, not only for them but for the memory and legacy of Magic Sam.
Jamiah Dancil is an actress, writer, director & producer born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Florida and currently based in El Paso, Texas.
Intersected, a short film written, produced and directed by Jamiah premiered at the El Paso Film Festivalin 2023.
Most recently she starred in and produced her first feature film titled Clutch, a Makerick Entertainment Film set to be released on Peacock in 2024.
She has been acting for many years and has a recurring role as Yanza in the El Paso/ Las Cruces local CW’s television series “Dolos”.
She has appeared in several film, television and theater productions. You may have seen her in Dopesick on Hulu, Wanted Man, The Colored Museum & Viva El Paso, just to name a few.
Jamiah studied at Heidi Marshall studios and continues to train to sharpen her skills.