From producers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith comes the new sports drama “Sprinter.”
The film follows a Jamaican teen, Akeem (played by newcomer Dale Elliot) who quickly finds himself rising to the top of Jamaican track-and-field, all while dealing with family matters that threaten his success.
Director Storm Saulter and producer Robert Maylor were on hand at NYC’s Soho House this week to discuss the film, in a panel moderated by former NBA star Richard Jefferson.
“Shooting this film, it was 22 days shooting in Jamaica, 6 days shooting in LA.” Maylor said about the filming process. “90% of our crew was Jamaican. For us by us.”
“When you’re coming up with something, there’s a few things. You have to create a world, and you have to occupy it,” Saulter said about his process developing the film’s concept.
“For me the world of Jamaican track-and-field and the high stakes of that world, where it’s gotten to with Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Frazer Pryce and all these amazing Jamaican athletes, I said yeah I really want to create something in this space,” Saulter continued.
“But what I wanted to do also is tell more of a story of a modern Caribbean family not relying on this very stereotypical, Jamaican–it’s not this like ghetto story or like rags to riches. It’s not like if he doesn’t win the race he’s going to die. If you really pree it, with cinema from many places, with people that look a certain way, you expect that the stakes have to be extreme all the time. No, the kid just wants to make the team […] or he just want his brother to give him some ratings, and that’s much more realistic to watch.”
The film also stars Usain Bolt, Lorraine Toussaint, David Alan Grier, and Bryshere Y. Gray. Sprinter hits theaters April 24.