After raising nearly $300,000 to fund his first animated project, retired NFL player Matthew Cherry’s short film titled Hair Love has been picked up by Sony Pictures. Through his Kickstarter campaign, Cherry set a fundraising goal of $75,000 and completely surpassed that amount, raising a total of $284,058.
Hair Love is a touching animated short film about an African American father, Stephen, learning to do his daughter Zuri’s hair for the first time when her mother becomes unavailable right before a big event. According to MatthewACherry.com, this story was born out of seeing a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects and also wanting to promote hair love amongst young men and women of color.
“In the past year, it has been very clear that audiences have been yearning to see fresh stories that are universal and culturally authentic,” says President of Sony Pictures Animation Kristine Belson. “‘Hair Love’ is a wonderful father-daughter story and we are proud to nurture talented young filmmakers like Matthew who are breaking new ground.”
Matthew Cherry expressed his gratitude for the support from Sony Pictures, a company in which he says championed the project since its early stages.
“It was important to get this story out there and we are so grateful to Sony Pictures Animation for their generous support in helping us make that happen. They have championed it from its early stages and we cannot wait to share the project with the world,” he says.
Hair Love is expected to be released later this year and will be accompanied by a children’s book that will be released on May 14th — click here to pre-order.
Photo: Emily Stein