No words can describe how excited I am that the Regent Park Film Festival will be starting their Under the Stars outdoor screening series with Love & Basketball – one of the greatest movies ever. Gina Prince-Bythewood is the writer-director behind the genius that is this film as it captures adversity, love, sport, relationships, race and gender. It weaves together drama and romance so smoothly, and the acting is spot-on. Not to mention the soundtrack features the best tracks from the 80s and 90s. I can’t say enough about how fantastic this film is and how there is no other like it.
The main players behind the film were recently interviewed by the Huffington Post and this is what Prince-Bythewood had to say about the beginnings and the import of the film:
It was just an idea that was in my head, it was a very personal story, a lot of it is autobiographical. Growing up, ball was everything to me. I’m an athlete first and always have been, and it’s been so much a part of my life. And I just didn’t feel that I ever saw that woman or girl reflected on screen. Finally after a year and a half, [my husband Reggie, who is also a writer, and I] felt it was good enough and went out with it. Every single studio turned it down. It was devastating. I remember I had a list on my fridge of all the studios and every day crossing another one off. And I kept getting the feedback that it was “too soft,” which I just didn’t know what that meant, how is it soft? But I think part of it was also it was a film with two people of color in the lead in a love story. It wasn’t a comedy. At that time, obviously there was the success of “Boyz in the Hood” and “Menace II Society” and this was something definitely different. But again, it was what I wanted to see and what I felt we hadn’t had an opportunity to see.
If you’ve never seen the film – or it’s been a while since the first or last time you watched it – come out to Regent Park (the Big Park), 620 Dundas St. E. on Wednesday, July 13. Screening starts at 9 p.m. but consider showing up early for Taste of Regent Park, a community event that showcases food, art and culture of Regent Park every Wednesday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. CAN’T WAIT.