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Interview: Matthew Cherry and Peter Ramsey on the Importance of ‘Hair Love’

Earlier this week Sony had a super fun day with food and games in anticipation on their upcoming releases The Angry Birds Movie 2 and Hair Love at Sony Pictures Animation.

During the event, I had the unbelievable opportunity to interview ‘Hair Love’ director Matthew Cherry and Oscar winning Producer Peter Ramsey.

For those unfamiliar, Hair Love is a heartfelt animated short film that centers around the relationship between an African-American father, his daughter Zuri, and the most daunting task a father could ever come across – doing his daughter’s hair. The short, a passion project from Matthew A. Cherry, will be making its theatrical debut in North America on August 14, playing in front of The Angry Birds Movie 2, from Sony Pictures Animation and Rovio Animation.

Watch the full interview below:

Directed by Cherry (executive producer, BlacKkKlansman), Everett Downing Jr. (animator for Up, WALL·E), and Bruce W. Smith (creator of The Proud Family and animator for The Princess and the Frog), Hair Love 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.

“To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true,” said Cherry. “I couldn’t be more excited for Hair Love to be playing with The Angry Birds Movie 2 in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a black father trying to figure out how to do his daughters hair for the very first time.”

Hair Love features the voice of Issa Rae (Insecure) as the young girl’s mother. The short is produced by Karen Rupert Toliver, Stacey Newton, Monica A. Young, Matthew A. Cherry, and Lion Forge Animation’s David Steward II and Carl Reed. Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Frank Abney (animator, Toy Story 4) serve as executive producers.

“This is such a special story that means so much to us,” added Ramsey, “Matthew has rallied an insanely talented group of people to get this short made, and to be able to share it with the world is a gift. We hope that audiences can feel this team’s dedication up on the big screen, we are incredibly proud of it.”

The short’s co-executive producers include Jordan Peele, Andrew Hawkins, Harrison Barnes, Yara Shahidi and Keri Shahidi. The short’s associate producers include N’Dambi Gillespie, Gabrielle Union-Wade, Dwyane Wade Jr., Gabourey Sidibe, Stephanie Fredric and Claude Kelly. The picture book “Hair Love” was released by Kokila Books/Penguin Random House on May 14, 2019, and became a New York Times Bestseller.

You can see Hair Love ahead of Angry Birds Movie 2 in theaters now.

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