Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith executive produced this dynamic and uplifting coming-of-age portrait of a Rastafarian teenager dedicated to joining the national youth track team for the World Youth Championships.
17-year-old Rastafarian Akeem Sharp (Dale Elliott) only has one goal in mind: run as fast as he can. Ever since his mother (Lorraine Toussaint, "Orange Is the New Black") immigrated to America to financially support the family, Akeem's life has been burdened by his volatile father and unruly older brother. Now, his only respite is the running track where he makes his name: "The Rasta Rocket," they call him in the local track-and-field circuit, where he's being hailed as Jamaica's next big sprinting sensation. That's quite a label considering how many world-class sprinters the country turns out, but Akeem isn't in it for the fame; instead, he wants to qualify for the national young track team so he can compete in the World Youth Championships in Philadelphia, where he hopes to reunite with his mother. "Akeem, there's no shortcut," his high-school running coach (David Alan Grier, "In Living Color") tells him. "Not for track-and-field. Not in life." Executive-produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Sprinter is inspired by some of the sport's most famous Jamaican sprinters, using track-and-field to explore the complexity of a modern Caribbean family and the pressure that leads the country's youth to become athletes.
Storm Saulter is a filmmaker and visual artist from Negril, Jamaica whose work focuses on illuminating universal stories against the backdrop of the complex social and cultural dynamics of the Caribbean. His debut film Better Mus' Come (2010) was hailed by critics as signaling a new movement in independent filmmaking throughout the Caribbean. His second feature film Sprinter (2018), executive-produced by Jada and Will Smith, swept the 2018 American Black Film Festival, winning Best Director, Best Narrative Feature, and the Audience Award. He has directed Music Videos for Chronixx, Protoje, Arcade Fire, and recently captured visuals for Jay-Z and Beyonce's On The Run 2 world tour.
Sponsored by KING 5, Puget Systems
- Director: Storm Saulter
- Principal Cast: Dale Elliott, David Alan Grier, Lorraine Toussaint, Kadeem Wilson, Dennis Titus
- Country: Jamaica, USA
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 114 minutes
- Producer: Robert A. Maylor, Clarence Hammond, Jamal M. Watson
- Screenplay: Storm Saulter, Robert A. Maylor
- Cinematographers: Pedro Gomez Millan
- Editors: Zimo Huang, Kenny Kiesecker
- Music: Joseph Trapanese
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Better Mus’ Come (2010)
- Language: English
- Format: DCP
- US Distributor: FilmRise