Baron Davis, the star point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, is bringing something special to New York City this weekend. Baron and his business partner, Cash Warren (Jessica Alba's husband) have teamed up to create their Academy Award worthy documentary, Crips & Bloods: Made in America.
The film premieres tonight, January 23rd at 7pm at the IFC Center (323 Sixth Avenue) and will run in screenings daily until January 30th. The film is narrated by Academy Award Winner, Forest Whitaker and is directed by Stacy Peralta (Dogtown).
Cash and Jessica Alba, will be in town for the premiere, but Baron has to work - you know how demanding the NBA can be. So I sat down with Baron earlier this week to talk about the film, how it all came together and how you land Forest Whitaker as a narrator.....
Read more from this interview by Page Six's Kelly Will below:
A little background for you - Crips & Bloods is about the gang violence in Los Angeles and carries a personal attachment for Baron. He grew up in a rough part of South Central LA and landed a basketball scholarship to the posh Crossroads School in Santa Monica, where he met Cash Warren. In high school, the two quickly became best friends and stayed close through college. The more successful they have become, the more they want to give back to the world and more specifically, their community. Baron and Cash began their production company, Verso Entertainment, a few years ago and this documentary was earnestly made to bring awareness and change the lives of anyone involved in gangs and the ensuing violence.
Where/when did the idea for this film, about the gangs in Los Angeles start? I grew up in Los Angeles and I took the bus in everyday to the Crossroads school. School was great, but at night when I'd ride the bus home, I knew I would have to face major gang problems every single night. It was tough at that age handling the two worlds.
Did your gang friends make trouble for you? It was difficult because they were absolutely trapped in that world and I was given this great opportunity to get out. I want to give them a chance now.
How did you convince Forest Whitaker to narrate for you? Cash and I shot a teaser to get people interested in the film and we decided we wanted to go to Forest first before anyone else - we hoped he would consider it. Forest is from LA and he just immediately agreed to do it. It was so fast, he jumped right in and came to work.
What is the most profound moment for you in the film? Cash and I got gang members and even gang leaders to open up and talk about their life. The thing is, these men (and women) desperately want to change the lives of their children. The men in my generation all have children now. They want to do whatever they can to turn their life around and the life of their children to end the cycle.
Have you gotten a lot of support from your friends in the sports and entertainment industries? Professional athletes, singers and rappers, have all teamed up with us to help the movie. Lil' Wayne, Snoop, Jadakiss - these guys want to help and change lives too. Everyone has been so generous, lending their voices to end gang violence and bring attention to inner cities.
Read more of my interview with Baron in Page Six Magazine this weekend in my Six in the City column. We talk about how Cash and Jessica parenting their new baby, Honor, inspire him to be a dad and how his Godfathering skills with Honor are prepping him for future fatherhood.