Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Acclaimed filmmaker Robert Townsend (The Five Heartbeats, Hollywood Shuffle) stars, directs, produces and co-wrote script with Michelle Amor and Cheryl L. West for the UP Premiere Movie Playin’ for Love, a romantic comedy about life on and off the basketball court.  It’s a story about a successful high school coach who gets a superstar player – and the mom who tries to take over the team.  The film also stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield (“Being Mary Jane,” “Eureka”), Jenifer Lewis (Think Like A Man, “Black-ish”), Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (The Jacksons: An American Dream,Claudine) and Esai Morales (La Bamba, “Criminal Minds”). Playin’ for Love premieres exclusively on UP on Sunday, July 12 at 7 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT.


“As a filmmaker I strive to uplift and inspire people, so I’m thrilled to have Playin’ for Love make its television debut on UP,” said Townsend. “This film is an homage to one of my favorite films ‘Claudine,’ starring James Earl Jones and Diahann Carroll, who received an Academy Award nomination for her role.  It also starred a young Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, so I had to have him in this film because ‘Claudine’ changed my life.  I saw my life on screen and it made me want to make movies.”


“We’re thrilled to bring our viewers the world television premiere of Robert Townsend’s entertaining, fun family film Playin’ for Love,” said Sophia Kelley, senior vice president of programming, UP.  “Under his keen direction, the film presents a range of characters who you can’t help but root for as they struggle to do the right thing and on and off the basketball court.  And as impressed as we are by the film, we are also amazed by the story of the making of the film and how Robert and Miami’s Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones changed the lives of a group of kids and brought the community together.”

Check out the trailer below:

[youtube id=”uicrL97nOGQ” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Playin’ for Love airs Sunday, July 12 at 7 p.m. EST