'Undefeated' - Oscar Nominated Doc Might Make History

If you’re into football, documentaries and generally touching stories then Undefeated is the movie you want to see. The Oscar-nominated documentary tells the story of a struggling, inner city Tennessee, high-school football team that beat the odds on and off the field.

Filmed during the 2009 football season of the Massilon Tigers of North Memphis, Undefeated chronicles three underprivileged student-athletes from the hood and the volunteer coach (Bill Courtney) trying to help them beat the odds on and off the field. It’s an uplifting film that depicts strength courage, faith and the positive relationships people can build when race and class are taken out of the equation and replaced with love.

Undefeated is directed by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin and if the movie wins, this would be the time that an African-American director (Martin) has won an Oscar for a feature length film. Watch the preview below:

Check out our brief interview with director T.J. Martin:

The title of the film is definitely ironic, considering the storyline.

That was definitely on purpose. The title speaks to the subtext of the film, and without sounding too cheesy it’s about the idea of being undefeated in life and it’s about what Bill’s mantra is, “The character of a man is not how he handles himself in good times but how he handles himself through the bad times,” and that’s what it speaks to.

It must have been culture shock coming from L.A. to spend all that time in the inner city in Memphis, what was that experience like?

That was definitely the most amount of time I spent in the south. They called us “yanks” a lot and they thought our jeans were too tight [laughs] but I wouldn’t say it was culture shock we were really warmly welcomed. It took a second in the sense that, more times than none, when there’s a media presence, they come in and do a sensationalized piece about how violent the neighborhood is or something like that, but as soon as we showed up as outsiders like, “We want to tell your story,” we kinda have to commit to that, so for us to have to commit to that it was basically showing them that we’re gonna walk our talk. And we would show up for practice and school and talent shows, we would just show up for anything. Every time I think back to the experience, the biggest thing I came away with was definitely an appreciation for my own opportunities in my own life and I think that’s one of the themes that we explore−not taking advantage of your opportunities and I think that was the most specific thing I had after that experience.

What do you want viewers to take away from this film?

I think the themes are very universal. It’s really a film about resilience, it’s a film about opportunity or lack thereof, and I think you could really replace football with anything. You could replace it with chess or soccer, but I think the themes are universal and everybody can take something home with them. But for me specifically, I would hope that−we didn’t’ set out to make an issues based film but by nature of making it, we also didn’t shy away from showing the class dynamic or race dynamic, and by embedding ourselves in the film and making a human interest piece−a coming of age kind of story−I would hope that with that stage of having this kind of racial class dynamic that it would at least inspire a greater conversation. I would never say this is the authority of that, I would just hope that this is the beginning of that conversation.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

An Unofficial Documentary About Drake Is Currently On Streaming Services

An unauthorized documentary about the rise of musician Drake can be viewed on video distribution services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Drake: Rewriting the Rules initially dropped on Vimeo in Nov. 2018, and now, fans of the "God's Plan" musician will have a chance to watch it at their leisure on other platforms.

The documentary chronicles the music superstar from his days growing up in Toronto, to portraying Jimmy on the hit-teen drama Degrassi, to becoming a hip-hop star and working with musicians from Kanye West to his Young Money leader, Lil Wayne.

"Discover the untold story of how Drake rewrote the rules and rose from a child actor to become a cultural phenomenon and global musical icon," writes IMDb of the film's synopsis. "He is the king of pop and hip hop, combining many musical styles into one mainstream sound." The film runs 74 minutes long. Interviews from media figures and writers are included in the doc, which was directed and written by British filmmaker Ray King. However, no representatives from Drake's team are included.

Drake has not commented on the doc as of press time. He has been relatively quiet in the news, however, it's being reported that he is close to securing a residency of sorts at the Wynn's XS Nightclub in Las Vegas.


Continue Reading
Courtesy of Hulu

Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Nason said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.



Continue Reading
Al Bello

Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

The Surviving R. Kelly series may be over, but the fallout from it has seemingly just begun.

Director dream hampton took to Twitter during the airing of the Lifetime documentary and spoke honestly about the several celebrity men she contacted in hopes they'd speak on camera about R. Kelly and the years of sexual allegations that have shadowed him. Among them was Dave Chappelle.

The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.


Continue Reading

Top Stories