Making The Five Heartbeats
Making The Five Heartbeats
The journey to a classic...that almost didn’t happen


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Thirty years ago, filmmaker Robert Townsend dreamed of making a breakthrough classic in African American cinema. Even though his comedy Hollywood Shuffle was groundbreaking, Townsend yearned to do more. Making the Five Heartbeats is the story of transforming that dream into a reality. It’s about a time in America when African American cinema was especially hard to get made, and it’s about one man who didn’t give up. Townsend relied on his faith, street smarts, and tenacity to create The Five Heartbeats: a film about a fictitious R&B group who rise and fall from fame together. Like the classic film, this documentary is raw and intimate. Robert Townsend takes the audience through his unique creative process from start to finish. He teaches them that the road to creating a film is never easy, but if you stay true to what you believe in, your dream can become a classic.


Making The Five Heartbeats Trailer



Making The Five Heartbeats documentary is a love letter to the millions and millions of fans that love The
Five Heartbeats film, about a fictitious R&B singing group like the Temptations, that tells the classic rags to
riches story while pulling at your heart.

The doc is an inspiring journey of filmmaker, Robert Townsend, in search of a classic.  His quest to get the
film made with all of the ups and downs, relying on his faith, street smarts and tenacity to not give up.

The documentary provides the audience with an intimate glimpse behind the scenes of the making of this beloved classic.

It’s also the ultimate master class with director, Robert Townsend, sharing his unique creative process.