An animated short film by former NFL wide receiver turned filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry, Hair Love was launched as a Kickstarter in July, 2017, quickly earning over three times its original funding goal. The short is about an African American father who is learning to style his daughter Zuri’s hair for the first time.
Despite having long locks, Stephen has been used to his wife doing his daughter’s hair, so when she is unavailable right before a big event, Stephen will have to figure it out on his own. This sounds simple enough, but we soon come to find that Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own.
This story was born out of seeing a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects, and also wanting to promote hair love amongst young men and women of color. It is our hope that this project will inspire.
Picked up by Sony Pictures Animation, the project has not only inspired, but it was also nominated for an Oscar for Animated Short Film in 2020.
Hair Love was nominated with Kitbull, a hand-drawn SparkShorts animation from Pixar.
The book version of Hair Love is illustrated by Vashti Harrison.
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