YouTube Originals today announced “I Promise,” a feature documentary film from award-winning director, Marc Levin, that tells the story of LeBron James’ efforts to close the achievement gap in his hometown of Akron, Ohio through the eyes of the inspiring students who are resetting expectations of their futures. The film premieres Thursday September 28 at 12pm ET / 9am PT on the YouTube Originals channel.
The documentary, which premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Festival, features an in-depth look at the first academic year inside the groundbreaking I Promise School, which opened in 2018. Viewers will get to explore the day-to-day trials, triumphs, and life-changing impact of the school staff, students and families working together in a unique, family-first educational environment that embraces the trauma and challenges many face in Akron. The film offers an intimate look at the school’s blueprint for a new model for urban, public education – a holistic, STEM-focused approach led by love and Social Emotional Learning infused with the LeBron James Family Foundation’s “We Are Family” philosophy. In opening the doors to the I PROMISE School’s early challenges and learnings, the film exists to provide insights and tools that students and educators in every community across the country can implement in their classrooms and beyond.
“I Promise” is directed by Marc Levin with executive producers LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, Philip Byron, Nicholas Lopez, Marc Levin, Dan Levin, Catherine Cyr, and Josh Gold. LeBron James and Maverick Carter will serve as executive producers on the documentary with their empowerment-led media conglomerate The SpringHill Company. “I Promise” director Marc Levin will also executive produce alongside Jamal Henderson, Philip Byron, Nicholas Lopez, Daniel B. Levin, Catherine Cyr, and Josh Gold. The film is a Blowback Pictures Production in association with RYOT Lab and LeBron James Family Foundation. Susanne Daniels is Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. Nadine Zylstra serves as Head of Family, Learning and Impact for YouTube Originals, with Zoe Di Stefano also overseeing “I Promise” for YouTube Originals.
“I Promise” joins a growing slate of learning and impact projects including the upcoming new slate of sustainability-focused programming: “Seat at the Table,” with David Attenborough and creator Jack Harries, “Stay Wild” (working title) from Brave Wilderness in partnership with Appian Way and Madica Productions, “Shut It Off ASAP” (working title) from AsapSCIENCE and B17 Entertainment; in addition to launched projects from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund aimed to invest with intention with programming like “Bear Witness, Take Action 2,” which continued the movement on racial justice to evoke change and protect Black lives; “Resist,” a documentary series from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors; and “Barbershop Medicine” aiming to put the “public” back in Public Health and explore the impact race and socioeconomic status have on healthcare and longevity. Additional learning YouTube Originals include Emmy Award-winning mini-series “Create Together,” a Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosted series featuring the creations of everyday people collaborating to make art; Daytime Emmy Award-winning special “Creators for Change on Girls’ Education with Michelle Obama” where YouTube creators, such as Liza Koshy, sit down with Former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Obama Foundation to discuss the state of girls’ education around the world; Emmy-nominated “Glad You Asked” that explores topics driven by our curiosity about the world around us; and “Retro Tech” the Emmy-nominated series that explores the technological promises of the past.
About YouTube Originals:
YouTube Originals are award-winning series, specials and livestream events for YouTube’s two billion active monthly users that entertain, inspire, connect, and educate audiences through authentic storytelling from YouTube creators, music artists and celebrities. By tapping into the platform’s growing global community, fan engagement product capabilities, and innovative content, YouTube Originals amplify the most popular and unique aspects of YouTube. Fans can experience YouTube Originals content for free through the standard YouTube platform (ad-supported), or through a paid subscription to YouTube Premium, which adds ad-free, bonus/exclusive content, and early binge access to select programming. YouTube Originals are available in over 100 countries worldwide. Keep up with the latest YouTube news by visiting the global platform’s official blog at https://blog.youtube/.
About The SpringHill Company:
The SpringHill Company is a global consumer and entertainment company created to empower greatness in every individual. The SpringHill Company unites three brands built by LeBron James and Maverick Carter: UNINTERRUPTED, the Sports Emmy winning athlete empowerment media and consumer product brand, SpringHill Entertainment, the premium scripted and unscripted film and television production brand and The Robot Company, the brand and culture consultancy. With a dynamic and diverse team committed to creating the most culturally inspired content, entertainment and products, The SpringHill Company is built to be the defining brand for a new generation.
About Marc Levin:
Marc Levin is an award-winning, independent filmmaker dedicated to telling powerful, real stories in a unique, authentic style. He has won four Emmy® awards, four duPont-Columbia awards, the Peabody Award, the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, among others. Highlights include: Slam, his breakout festival hit; Brick City, the groundbreaking docu-series about the city of Newark, New Jersey and its charismatic Mayor Cory Booker.
About the LeBron James Family Foundation:
With a commitment to redefining community and building stronger families, The LeBron James Family Foundation invests its time, resources and passion into creating generational change for kids and families through a focus on education and co-curricular educational initiatives. With its foundational I PROMISE Program, LJFF serves more than 1,500 students and their entire families by providing them with the fundamental resources, wraparound supports and family programming they need for success in school and beyond. In 2018, the Foundation built all of its family-first programming and academic interventions into the groundbreaking I PROMISE School that has created a new model for urban, public education. The Foundation has layered in additional resources including higher education and family supports at the I PROMISE Institute, transitional housing at the I PROMISE Village, longer-term affordable housing at the upcoming I PROMISE Housing, job training and financial health programming at House Three Thirty, and several hands-on supports in between. These life-changing resources, combined with the Foundation’s “We Are Family” philosophy, are re-defining what a family and community looks like. To learn more about our story, visit https://www.