‘WHY NOT,’ EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY NBA STAR RUSSELL WESTBROOK, WILL BE DISTRIBUTED BY BET DIGITAL
THE CINEMATIC SHORT FILM DEVELOPED WITH JORDAN BRAND AND THE INCUBATION LAB WILL PREMIERE ON BET.COM AND BET’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4
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NBA All-Star and Triple Double world record holder, Russell Westbrook and The Incubation Lab announced today, WHY NOT?, the short film that showcases the culture of Crenshaw, will premiere on BET Digital beginning Friday, February 4 as part of the network’s Black Film Friday digital series.
WHY NOT? aims to expose youth in marginalized communities to the ever-growing technology space through the story of a top High School basketball player that finds another way to impact his community when basketball is taken away from him.
Westbrook and The Incubation Lab partnered with Jordan Brand to develop the project and elevate talent and storytellers from the Black community, including director and writers Tevin Tavares and Lance Holloway. The Incubation Lab is a culture-forward content incubator founded in 2020 with Sony Pictures Entertainment, designed to create meaningful pathways for diverse creatives to develop film and television projects.
“A lot of the youth in Black and Brown communities look at the tech space as an almost impossible field to exist within,” says Westbrook. “They don’t often see themselves represented at the major tech companies of the world and they don’t see it as the ‘cool’ thing to do. Well, WHY NOT? WHY NOT is a mantra I live by, because I believe it is important to empower the next generation and encourage them to never give up. Why can’t young Black kids in untapped neighborhoods like Crenshaw get exposed to tech? This film is that story, and I hope it inspires kids in marginalized communities around the world.”
“WHY NOT? is ultimately a gritty and raw story of self-discovery,” says Aloni Ford, Head of Production at The Incubation Lab. “There isn’t a more fitting partner than BET to distribute this project and we’re thrilled to finally bring the film to an eager audience. We hope WHY NOT? continues to resonate and challenge the old school, narrow thought framework of what it means to be successful and Black.”
"We are thrilled to partner with Russell Westbrook, The Incubation Lab, and Jordan Brand on this powerful film and have it kick off our Black Film Friday series on BET Digital," said Kimberly Paige, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer of BET. "This partnership is just one example of our commitment and intent to amplify diverse voices and advance the passions, interests, and causes of the Black community."
About Russell Westbrook:
On the court, Russell Westbrook is a nine-time NBA All-Star, winner of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award and Triple Double world record holder. Off the court, he is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and investor. Inspired by his upbringing, in 2012, Russell started the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting community-based education, family service programs and teaching kids to never give up when faced with adversity. Committed to the perseverance of at-risk communities, the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation implements structured educational opportunities, workforce development and accessible mental health resources. The foundation has established 39 reading rooms in schools in Los Angeles and Oklahoma and sponsored schoolwide book fairs at each of those schools to make sure every child went home with a book to grow their own personal libraries. As an investor, Westbrook’s business portfolio spans different areas such as banking, technology, education, media and production.
About The Incubation Lab:
The Incubation Lab is a culture-forward content incubator founded in 2020 by Jeron Smith with Sony Pictures Entertainment. The program is designed to create meaningful pathways for diverse creatives to develop film and television projects.
BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the leading provider of premium entertainment, music, news, digital and public affairs content for Black audiences worldwide. BET linear is in 125 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, Brazil, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa and France. BET is one of the most well-known Black consumer brands worldwide, with multi-platform business extensions including BET Studios, an unprecedented studio venture that offers equity ownership for Black content creators; BET+, the preeminent streaming service for the Black audience; BET Digital, including BET’s wide reaching social platforms and BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s events and experience business; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.
February 3, 2022 11:00am ET by Pressparty