Feb 28, 2019
MAGNIFY Series Documentary’s In-Depth Look at the San Quentin State Prison Basketball Team
Debuts April 11 at the Castro Theatre
San Francisco, CA – SFFILM today announced that the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival will host the World Premiere of Fox Sports Films’ new MAGNIFY series documentary Q Ball, Thursday, April 11, 7:00 pm at the Castro Theatre. The film, executive produced by Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, provides an intimate portrayal of several players on the San Quentin State Prison basketball team. Director Michael Tolajian, producer Rebekah Fergusson, and executive producers Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman, Jamie Patricof, Katie McNeill, and Jordan deBree are expected to attend. Additional special guests will be announced in the weeks to come.
“We are proud to premiere this extraordinary new documentary that takes such a compassionate approach to our incarcerated community,” said SFFILM Executive Director Noah Cowan. “It’s a heartfelt portrait that showcases the real experiences of these men as inmates, their paths to rejoining the outside world as individuals and as a team, and the quite beautiful role of sport in their rehabilitation.”
Across the Bay from the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, there is another Warriors team—one that plays only home games. Michael Tolajian’s documentary, which got started during early visits by Kevin Durant and his fellow team members to San Quentin State Prison, explores inmates’ personal struggles as they search for redemption and transcendence both on and off the court. The answers, characters, and stories are complex, but in San Quentin—a place where freedom is taken away—basketball gives a little bit back.
“My first visit to San Quentin with my teammates was an unforgettable experience that moved me and made me want to bring it to a larger audience,” said Durant. “This film shines a light on these individuals, their struggles and their connection through basketball.”
The film zeroes in on about-to-be-paroled star player Harry “ATL” Smith, who has not surrendered his NBA dreams; Anthony “Ant” Ammons, a lifer who has become a mentor to younger inmates; and head coach Rafael Cuevas, a convicted murderer who understands his role in preparing his players for life on the outside. For all three men, the team is not just a means of recreation, but a form of family. The story closely examines life on the inside, not just for San Quentin’s Warriors, but for all the inmates in a prison that prioritizes the rehabilitation of convicts who will one day finish serving their time and rejoin society.
Q Ball is a coproduction of San Francisco-based HEIST, Hunting Lane Films, and Thirty Five Ventures; and is part of Fox Sports Films Emmy-nominated MAGNIFY documentary series.
Tickets to Q Ball are $20 for SFFILM members, $25 for the general public. The box office is open now at sffilm.org for SFFILM members and opens March 1 for the general public.
2019 San Francisco International Film Festival
The longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM Festival) is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. The 62nd edition runs April 10–23 at venues across the Bay Area and features nearly 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards with close to $40,000 in cash prizes, and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests.
SFFILM is a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM is a year-round organization delivering screenings and events to more than 75,000 film lovers and media education programs to more than 12,000 students and teachers annually. In addition to its public programs, SFFILM supports the careers of independent filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond with grants, residencies, and other creative development services.
For more information visit sffilm.org