The 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival will host the World Premiere of Fox Sports Films’ new MAGNIFY series documentary Q Ball, on Thursday, April 11 at the Castro Theatre. The film, executive produced by Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, provides an intimate portrayal of several players on the San Quentin State Prison basketball team. Director Michael Tolajian, producer Rebekah Fergusson, and executive producers Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman, Jamie Patricof, Katie McNeill, and Jordan deBree are expected to attend.
Across the Bay from the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, there is another Warriors team—one that plays only home games. Michael Tolajian’s documentary, which got started during early visits by Kevin Durant and his fellow team members to San Quentin State Prison, explores inmates’ personal struggles as they search for redemption and transcendence both on and off the court. The answers, characters, and stories are complex, but in San Quentin—a place where freedom is taken away—basketball gives a little bit back.
“My first visit to San Quentin with my teammates was an unforgettable experience that moved me and made me want to bring it to a larger audience,” said Durant. “This film shines a light on these individuals, their struggles and their connection through basketball.”
The film zeroes in on about-to-be-paroled star player Harry “ATL” Smith, who has not surrendered his NBA dreams; Anthony “Ant” Ammons, a lifer who has become a mentor to younger inmates; and head coach Rafael Cuevas, a convicted murderer who understands his role in preparing his players for life on the outside. For all three men, the team is not just a means of recreation, but a form of family. The story closely examines life on the inside, not just for San Quentin’s Warriors, but for all the inmates in a prison that prioritizes the rehabilitation of convicts who will one day finish serving their time and rejoin society.