Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant and Utah Jazz's Mike Conley served as executive producers on the short film 'Two Distant Strangers', which is up for Oscar nominations this year. The film starring Joey Bada$$ was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film. The two NBA stars' film will compete for the trophy against the category’s other contenders: 'Feeling Through', 'The Letter Room', 'The Present and White Eye'.
Earlier on Monday, it was confirmed that 'Two Distant Strangers', a short film produced by NBA stars Kevin Durant and Mike Conley, received an Oscar nomination. The film has been nominated for Best Live Action Short Film ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony on April 25. The story was written by Travon Free over the span of five days in July of last year after Free had attended the Black Lives Matter protests following the brutal police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant was quick to address the news on Twitter as he replied to the nomination and wrote, "Proud to be an EP (executive producer) on this film, congrats on the Oscar nomination." A few hours later, 33-year-old Mike Conley also tweeted, "Congrats to the entire team for the Oscar nomination."
The film, which stars Joey Bada$$, Andrew Howard and Zaria, tells the story of Carter James (played by Joey), an African-American cartoonist who heads home to feed his pit bull when he gets stopped by a white police officer (played by Howard). Carter gets tackled to the ground and strangled at the officer’s hands for no particular reason. While trying to evade the officer's harsh treatment, Carter gets shot at but then wakes up from his dream. The movie also highlights Carter’s agony every time he wakes up and realizes he has to face the same fate.
Earlier this year, in February, Durant discussed his involvement in the film and said, "From the minute I saw the script for this project, I knew it had the potential to be very powerful and I wanted to be involved." Durant also explained that he was glad to have the opportunity to screen the movie with his Nets teammates.
The Oscars were originally scheduled for February 28, 2021. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oscars 2021 will now take place on April 25, 2021, nearly two months later than originally planned in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.