Two Distant Strangers is a short film about policy brutality that won at Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday night

By Jason Duaine Hahn
April 26, 2021 02:09 PM
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Kevin Durant, Mike Conley
Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty; Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty

Brooklyn Nets player Kevin Durant and Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz were part of a team of executive producers of Two Distant Strangers, a short film about policy brutality that won big at the 93rd Academy Awards.

The film, directed by Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe, took home the honors for Best Live-Action Short on Sunday night. It follows Black cartoonist Carter James, who is killed by police while walking home after sleeping over with a date.

After James is killed, he ends up back where he started that morning, only to relive the day's events again and again in a time loop.

"From the minute we saw the script for this project, we knew it had the potential to be very powerful and we wanted to be involved," Durant told Slam Magazine earlier this year. "Getting to see it come to life on the screen was an intense experience."

"I also had the opportunity to screen it for my teammates and coaches at the Nets, and I think everyone came away with the same feeling that I did that the film is telling a really important story about the Black experience, but in a way that is real and raw and not at all preachy," Durant added.

The film stars rapper Joey Bada$$, Andrew Howard and Zaria Simone.

After Two Distant Strangers won the Oscar, Durant reacted on Twitter, writing "Big time!" in a post.

Conley told Slam in February of the film, "I think that's huge to kind of show that visually for the general public and people to [help them] understand what my uncles and my grandparents taught me, like sometimes when you get pulled over you just pray, man."

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"There's nothing you can do sometimes [but] just pray that everything comes out right like you can show your identity you can do everything you want to do in the right manner and still get shot or have something come out of that," Conley continued. "So it's just, it was a great way of portraying it and allowing I think all of us to kind of exhale a little bit that we have this film to be able to show all those examples."

Durant and Conley may be able to celebrate the win on the basketball court later this year — the Nets and Jazz are currently the top seeds in the Eastern and Western conferences and look to be favorites to meet in the NBA Finals in July.