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Hair Love – by Matthew A. Cherry

The 2020 Oscar-winner animated short, based on the true story of Deandre Arnold and financed by a Kickstarter campaign

2019 | 5 - 10 | Animation | Dramedy | Identity | USA

Stephen is an African American dad. His young daughter Zuri keeps watching the tutorial video of her mother (voiced by Awkward Black Girl and Insecure star Issa Rae) teaching her how to style her kinky hair. The woman is waiting for her family in the hospital. It is therefore important for Stephen to style Zuri’s hair the best he can for the first time.

This is the story of Hair Love , the 2020 Oscar-winning animated short directed by former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry. The director was inspired by the true story of Deandre Arnold, the Texas high school student who was suspended for refusing to cut his dreadlocks.

The indignation aroused by this affair drove the Academy to invite Arnold at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where he showed up with his thick hair and big smile.

Un'immagine del corto Hair Love

Produced by Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union and animated with Everett Downing Jr. (Pixar’s Up) and Bruce W. Smith (The Proud Family, The Princess and the Frog), Hair Love was financed by a successful Kickstarter campaign, with which the crew collected over $300,000. The project was later acquired by Sony Pictures Animation and shown theatrically in front of Angry Birds 2.

With his short film, the director wanted to overturn the stereotypes that Hollywood and the American entertainment have helped to create about African-American fathers. “Black fathers have had one of the worst raps in mainstream media as being portrayed as being deadbeats and not being involved. It was important to us to showcase a black father that was young, that had tattoos. I think if you saw someone like him on the street, you would assume that wasn’t a loving father that does his daughter’s hair,” Cherry told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hair Love is the perfect short for the 92nd Academy Awards , which celebrated diversity, the liberation of the disadvantaged, and democratic values. Pity that in their anxiety to show this (fake) will to change, voters missed Mémorable by Bruno Collet, one of the most talented and innovative storytellers of our time.

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Editor-in-Chief @ Good Short Films

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