Hair Love, an animated short film from Matthew A. Cherry, tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.

This beautiful, touching 2D animated short hits all its marks. Life is a complicated mess of an experience, and this little family gets all of it. The little girl had a hair tutorial vlog with her mother, and now all that comes together as the father does mortal combat with his daughter’s impossibly kinky hair – and then it gets a bit maudlin as it’s revealed that her mother is in the hospital and has lost her beautiful hair due to the cancer treatments. It takes a step into the human heart, both in its specific depiction of an African-American father and his struggles with his daughter’s kinky hair, and the widely universal touchstone of family bonds and caring.

Hair Love debuted in theaters in front of Sony’s Angry Birds 2, where it stole hearts and unexpectedly moved the audiences who were expecting to see a silly animated movie about irate birds. The film is now eligible for consideration in the Motion Picture Academy’s competition for Best Animated Short Subject, a category that has long been dominated by Pixar and Disney.

“Having my first animated project hit the big screen was incredible,” Cherry told Variety. “It was always my hope that ‘Hair Love’ could have a theatrical run and to have it happen in front of a major Sony Pictures Animation release was a dream come true.”

Directors:

  • Matthew A. Cherry (Executive Producer, “BlacKkKlansman”)
  • Everett Downing Jr. (Animator, “Up”)
  • Bruce W. Smith (Creator, “The Proud Family,” Animator, “The Princess and the Frog”)

Producers:

  • Karen Rupert Toliver
  • Stacey Newton
  • Monica A. Young
  • Matthew A. Cherry
  • David Steward II
  • Carl Reed

Executive Producers:

  • Peter Ramsey (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”)
  • Frank Abney (Animator, “Toy Story 4”)

Features: Issa Rae (“Insecure”) as Zuri’s mother

Co-Executive Producers:

  • Jordan Peele
  • Andrew Hawkins
  • Harrison Barnes
  • Yara and Keri Shahidi

Associate Producers:

  • N’Dambi Gillespie
  • Gabrielle Union-Wade
  • Dwayne Wade Jr.
  • Gabourey Sidibe
  • Stephanie Fredric
  • Claude Kelly

Music Composers:

  • Paul Mounsey
  • Daniel D. Crawford

Additional Composer: Taylor Graves

Production Partners:

  • Lion Forge Animation
  • Chasing Miles
  • Matthew A. Cherry Entertainment

The project is a collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation that was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 with a fundraising goal of $75,000. Strong support led to the campaign amassing nearly $300,000, making it the most highly-funded short film campaign in Kickstarter history.

The picture book “Hair Love” was released by Kokila Books/Penguin Random House on May 14, 2019, and became a New York Times Bestseller.

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