In a red carpet event held at the Laemmle Theatres in Newhall, Square Zero Films filmmakers and NAACP Santa Clarita members celebrated the world premiere of the sports documentary “SCRUM.”
“To open and premiere a film out here where I live, where I’m on the Human Relations Roundtable, where I work with people that are trying to showcase diversity in Santa Clarita, I’m delighted,” said Executive Producer Jeffery Thompson, a 20-year Santa Clarita resident himself. “We could have easily gone and done exactly what we did here 18 miles away in Hollywood or 30 miles away in Beverly Hills, but we wanted a place like Santa Clarita.”
The event was created, organized and executed by and for the NAACP, with funds from the film set to benefit NAACP Santa Clarita to raise awareness and scholarship funds centered around the themes of inclusion addressed in the film.
Tying in a community organization like the NAACP is something filmmakers hope will elevate the conversation surrounding the film, which tells the true story of Frank McKinney, the first Black rugby coach in the U.S., and his journey to creating an NCAA national-championship-winning college rugby team.
“This is a rugby movie like ‘Rocky’ is a boxing movie — it’s not really about that, it’s about life, it’s about struggles, it’s about opportunity,” “SCRUM” Director Thomas Morgan said.
The film’s message is a powerful one, and the project was a labor of love for filmmakers — one that has paid off, according to Executive Producer Lawrence Aldridge, who announced that “SCRUM” is set to become a scripted movie.
Valerie Bradford, president of NAACP Santa Clarita, was honored that producers chose to premiere the film locally and donate its proceeds to the Santa Clarita branch, noting that Santa Clarita not only mirrors the town the documentary is set in but also suburban towns across the country.
“This movie was about much more than rugby. It was a story about opportunity and perseverance, and racism and inclusion,” Bradford added. “It is an educational documentary that opened the eyes of its producers and hopefully will do the same for our city and cities nationwide.”
To view the film, visit bit.ly/SCRUMNAACP. For every viewer, NAACP Santa Clarita receives $4.