Grammy Award-winning, Oscar-nominated entertainment executive Amir Windom is creating a remarkable imprint in the world of film. The East Atlanta native recently added a new notch in his career belt through becoming an executive producer on this year’s indie film “Canal Street.”

Filmed in Chicago, IL, “Canal Street” follows a young Black attorney who fights in court to receive justice and vindication for his son who confronts murder charges against a White classmate.

“You’ll see a film that’s not just putting a spotlight on the social injustice happening to Black people or talking about how this person is a racist and portraying racism through that lens,” Windom said. “This is more so showing the power of love, the power of unity and the power of faith.”

With a star-studded cast including Bryshere Gray, Woody McClain, Mekhi Phifer, Mykelti Williamson, Kevin Quinn and Lance Reddick, the film showcases how the father and son’s faith in God, and each other, are put to the ultimate test.

“It’s not just black, it’s more about unity, faith, and love when you watch our movie,” Windom said.

Though Windom has served as a music supervisor for many films including “Think Like A Man,” “Why Did I Get Married,” and “Despicable Me 2,” he built his career in the music industry first before taking his talents into film.

“Music supervision is my favorite part,” Windom said. “Music is the soul of everything and that’s where my heart is. Even in a movie, just imagine the movie with no music. It’s a little weird. Working on the music is always my passion because I get to compliment the art.”

The A&R says that he got his start working with record labels like Bad Boy Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Def Jam Recordings.

“I think I started realizing as an A&R, there was more I could do with my ability and so I started looking into film and TV music supervision,” Windom said. This is where your job is to essentially create the soundtracks for TV and film projects.”

Windom’s prior experience in music allowed him to work with notable artists such as Pharrell Williams, Trey Songz, Kanye West, and Lupe Fiasco.

For “Canal Street,” Windom came on board as a music supervisor and an executive producer; collaborating with the film’s director Rhyan LaMarr.
“As executive producer, your job is to be on the creative side to assist, help create and bring the script to life,” Windom said.
“You make it look beautiful on screen by helping the director and other co-producers as you see fit on the creative side making sure we’re creating the most creative product possible.”

LaMarr had conceptualized the idea for “Canal Street” 13 years prior to starting production in 2018.

“The story is about the transition from one area to another,” says LaMarr. “A father gets a life-changing promotion and moves with his son from the south side of Chicago to Winnetka after their respective wife and mother passes away.”

“It’s not just black and white and cops and all that stuff,” LaMarr continues. “We’re talking about something completely different. I can get on the red line at 95th and go to Evanston and see all different types of people, not just color, but students, lawyers, doctors and street pharmacists.”
Windom also had to maintain his duties as the music supervisor for the film.

“In my opinion, the content of music is a little scary at times,” Windom said. There, someone has to say let’s do something different.

“That was my goal from the start with the soundtrack, let’s make something feel and sound like a musical. We want the content to be soulfully invigorating and enriching.”

In addition to handling the creative process, Windom says that being an executive producer forced him to participate in the business side that includes raising money, creating partnerships, working with brands, dealing with talent, and communicating with distributors.

“We literally went to people with the script and gave them a synopsis of why we’re writing the script,” Windom said. “Before you knew it, people were saying yes because we need this content in the world right now. We need this content to touch people’s souls.”

According to Windom, despite having a tight budget and only 16 days to shoot, the film was still successfully completed.

“Our movie had a budget of $2,000,000,” Windom said.

“We didn’t have a huge crazy budget with this project. As far as working on the set with all our cast, we had people who were there and weren’t there because of the money. Honestly, we didn’t pay anybody what their worth was at all.”

However, Windom says that the lack of funding didn’t take away from the quality of the performance given by the cast and the hard work produced by the crew.

“They said yes because they knew this is bigger than money,” said Windom. “We were in an atmosphere where people were working as if we had a $200,000,000 budget. They would give their best because they knew that this was going to be a project that was going to touch people’s souls and add value to our world.”

(Photo: Amir Windom)

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