On June 14, 2023 , YRB attended a special screening and reception for the documentary short Black Mark®, presented by Love-Hate Productions‘ principals Matt Barnes, Nathan Elliott and Jaren Hayman.
The film is part of the Tribeca Festival’s Creators Market and event took place in Robert De Niro’s screening room at the Tribeca Film Center in New York City.
“The goal of the Black Mark® series,” notes Director Jaren Hayman, “is to challenge viewers to consider thinking or feeling differently about racial inequity, or at the very least, to leave each episode feeling inspired by the resolve for change.”
Black Mark® has taken a franchise approach to creating a docuseries about the Black experience told through high-profile athlete stories that highlight an episode(s) of racial tension that, at once, affected them immeasurably, while also catapulting them to the top of their game, both professionally and personally.
Black Marks are definitive, life-changing episodes in lives of Black people that affect them so profoundly that their existence is forever altered. They are, at once, irreparable scar tissue of racial trauma, and indelible emblems of hope and survival.
“We are honored to be participating in this Year’s Tribeca Creators Market for its focus on sharing diverse stories with impact,”
notes Matt Barnes, both the subject and Executive Producer of the project.
“My story, and other stories about the Black experience in sport, need to be shared to find common grounds for conversation moving forward.”
The pilot episode featured at the Festival explores the unbelievable story of former NBA star Matt Barnes who was the target of a hate crime while a senior in high school. The episode – which features appearances by Snoop Dogg, former UCLA teammate Earl Watson, and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin, among others – explores how a man of mixed-race, who was never white enough for his Italian heritage, or Black enough for his African American side, constantly struggled to understand his identity. It looks at how Barnes’ interpersonal conflict epitomized by his Black Mark (an ensuing episodes of racism throughout his life) both hindered and helped shape the man, the basketball player, and ultimately the powerful media voice he is today.
“Our acceptance into the Tribeca Creators Market involved a three-year journey. These are tough, but important projects to develop,” said Executive Producer Nathan Elliott.
“Racism continues to be ever-present in sport around the world as evidenced just this week in the passing of the Vinicius Junior Law by the Brazilian state government to combat overt discrimination in football. Sharing Matt’s story publicly this week could not have come soon enough.”
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served at an exclusive reception in a room featuring the artwork by Robert Henry De Niro , an American abstract painter , better known as Robert De Niro Sr., the father of actor Robert De Niro.
Photos by: Lauren Demi Photography and Allen Berezovsky
About The Tribeca Creators Market
– in partnership with Indeed – serves as a one-of-a-kind, interdisciplinary industry pitch market for select emerging creators within the feature film, short form, episodic, immersive, game, and podcast space to discuss new projects with an array of companies and influential industry leaders. The Creators Market exists as a pillar of Tribeca’s commitment to supporting storytellers in all stages of their careers, with a strong emphasis on diversity of creators and forms of storytelling, providing industry with a group of fresh and provocative voices. This year, in support of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in facilitating access and fair compensation for writers in the entertainment industry, the Festival took steps to modify the program, and the event will no longer involve an industry presence. As a pivot, the Festival designed an informative collaborative workshop format for the 2023 Creators Market-a day of mentorship and conversation wherein our Creator teams will come together to discuss their projects with one another as well as with creative mentors.
About Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes is a former pro basketball player who played 14 seasons in the NBA. He was drafted in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. Barnes went on to win an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in his last season in the league in 2017. He is an entrepreneur, executive producer, and co-host of the award-winning podcast, All The Smoke.
About Jaren Hayman
Jaren Hayman has produced and directed 3 documentary feature films and over 50 television, commercial, music videos, and branded content spots. His films have had theatrical releases, garnered global Netflix deals, and hit #1 on the rental charts in numerous countries.
About Nathan Elliott
Nathan Elliott is Canadian entrepreneur, technologist, and advertising executive. He is currently the Founder and CEO of FrontRunner Technologies, one of the most disruptive forces in immersive media, retail, and commercial real estate today. He recently co-founded Love-Hate Productions to focus on brand entertainment related projects.