About the films

In “Making the Five Heartbeats,” filmmaker Robert Townsend takes a well-deserved victory lap in revisiting his 1991 cult favorite “The Five Heartbeats,” a Motown-flavored musical drama about the rise and fall of an African-American vocal group in the 1960s. His behind-the-scenes documentary about his passion project chronicles the inspiring journey of a young black writer/director (Townsend) determined to present a new image of black people in cinema while endeavoring to create a classic. The original film and documentary will screen together with Townsend in attendance.


1 p.m. Sat., April 13
Redford Theatre

The feature will play first, followed by the documentary.

Film credits

‘The Five Heartbeats’

Rated R, language

Year: 1991

Run time: 2 hours, 1 minutes

Director: Robert Townsend

‘Making the Five Heartbeats’

Rated PG-13, suggestive material and thematic elements


1 hour, 25 minutes

Director: Robert Townsend

Producers: James L. Herron III, Robert Townsend, Lydia Nicole

Writer: Robert Townsend

Editor: Loi Ameera Almeron, Bethany L. Fanthorpe, Robert Pergament

Cinematographers: Dianne Farrington, Louis Obioha, Suzanne Suter

Composer: Stephen James Taylor