Sweetwater: Nat Clifton Story
“Sweetwater”, set in 1950, is the story of the first African American athlete to become a star in the NBA. Nathaniel Clifton became the third African-American player to be drafted by the NBA after Chuck Cooper and Earl Lloyd and the second to sign an NBA contract after Harold Hunter. Sweetwater was the first African American to make it to stardom - “The Jackie Robinson of basketball”. A historical true tale sequestered under the radar since its happening in 1950 which changed the game of basketball forever. On November 1st 1950, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, a black man, walked onto an all white NBA court. Up until that moment, the ex-Harlem Globetrotter star turned New York Knick created a chain of events that would rock the sports world, defy political barriers, change the course of professional basketball as we know it and forever live in infamy as a forgotten sequestered moment in American history.
This is the story of the color barrier being broken in the National Basketball Association (NBA) by three brave men and the establishment of modern-day professional basketball.
The film is a very important, socio-cultural independent feature, shot in a marketing partnership and fully sanctioned by the NBA (National Basketball Association). The significance and importance of the people and events that changed the NBA and the game of basketball is what makes this true story so compelling. Audiences of today will be enlightened that it took decades not only for the game to be integrated but also for the million dollar contracts and endorsements of today. This film pays homage to the pioneers of the game and honors the sacrifices that paved the road to make the NBA the most populated African American sport, worldwide.
Plans are to produce the film as an independently financed feature, written by Martin Guigui, whose shooting script (one more pass to go) has been blessed by The NBA (Adam Silver and colleagues). A major African American director will helm, with Spencer Proffer and Dahlia Waingort producing. A number of major, multi national film studios are in active discussions with Proffer and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips attorney Neil Sacker, to distribute this evergreen project, worldwide. Guigui will serve as an Executive Producer.. Nathan Lane is attached to play Globetrotters owner, Abe Saperstein along with a highly acclaimed actor, soon to be announced as Ned Irish, NY Knicks owner. The team are in talks with Brian Dennehy to play the NBA Commissioner, Lawrence Fishburne and Patrick Warburton for key roles as well as a number of popular NBA stars, to join our cast.
Lalo Schifrin (Mission Impossible/Rush Hour) has agreed to be our composer, working with composer Marcus Miller; Oscar nominated cinematographer Jack Green (Unforgiven/Bridges of Madison County) as Director of Photography; Jack Taylor (Million Dollar Baby/Casino) as Production Designer and Oscar winner Joel Harlow (Star Trek/Pirates Of The Caribbean) is on board to do our Special FX and Key Make Up.
A world renown, major music personality and accomplished actor will play Louis Jordan.
Spencer is overseeing the soundtrack and the inspired by hip hop album whose songs will be based upon the theme of inclusion, inspiration and diversity which is the anchor ethos of the film.
The recordings will contain performances from today's top NBA stars, with significant social networks, who moonlight as rappers and singers, coupled in duets with a number of current urban music stars. Additionally, cross promotional singles will be released by one of the major worldwide recording organizations. Tracks will be cross promoted with the film, NBA games, both live, online and via iTunes. The star athletes who will be participating, in alignment with the NBA Players Association, along with the hit music artists who will duet with them -- to be announced shortly.