The Oscar winning short, Hair Love, told the story of a father struggling to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. The six minute and forty seven second short tells a heartwarming story, with very little dialog and shows more emotion than any full length feature film. If you wish to see it again, or have yet to see it, have a look.
The short was written and directed (along with Everett Downing Jr, and Bruce W. Smith) by Matthew Cherry, who made the short to counter how black fathers are being portrayed in media. Instead of a deadbeat dad who’s never around, we have a caring father, Stephen, who, despite the troubles, tries his best to be there for his daughter, Zuri, and to make her happy. He also wanted to increase the representation of black hair through this film.
The film had a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $300,000 and was picked up by Sony Pictures for distribution. It would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Short Film, as well as the Black Reel Award for Outstanding Independent Short Film. There was also a book written by Cherry with illustrations by Vashti Harrison released.
Happily, Hair Love is not the last we’ll see of Zuri, her dad, Stephen, her mom, Angela, or her cat, Rocky. They’ll be returning in a 12 episode animated series, Young Love, coming soon to HBO MAX. The upcoming series is described as exploring family dynamics through this young Black millennial family as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues and multigenerational dynamics, all while striving to make a better life for themselves.
While full details have yet to be revealed, such as voice cast, behind the scenes, a strong team has been formed to help create what we strongly feel will be an excellent series. Cherry, along with Carl (Black Dynamite) Jones will serve as showrunners. Hair Love’s producers Monica A. Young and Karen Rupert Toliver will serve as an executive producers, along with David Stewart II and Carl Reed.
In a statement about the news, Cherry said:
I am beyond excited to continue telling the story of Stephen, Angela and Zuri and further explore the dynamics of a young Black millennial family we established in our short film Hair Love as an animated series, Couldn’t ask for better partners in Sony Pictures Animation and HBO Max in helping us get Young Love out into the world.
With all that’s going on in the world, this is wonderful news. Zuri and her family may be fictional characters, but they are a representation of very real people in this world, and those real people are being represented in a very positive way. We need more of that, much more of that. As more details of the series is available, SCIFI.radio will be bringing you those details, and we can’t wait to watch Young Love when it debuts on HBO MAX.
Gary DaBaum, SCIFI.radio DJ, writer, and all around nice guy, can be heard on SCIFI.radio. He’s also on Twitter: @GaryDaBaum.