A feature documentary on Stephon Marbury – the former NBA star basketball player who would later move to China, and currently plays for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association – might be coming to a theater near you some time in the next year.
The project, titled “My Other Home: Beijing,” is part of a 5-picture deal between Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and China’s Beijing Hairun Pictures, which was announced at the Beijing International Film Festival a couple of years ago.
The two companies described the agreement as “a long-term partnership in the joint development, financing, production and distribution of feature films.” Joint projects would initially consist of Sino-foreign co-productions with plans to also co-finance and co-produce English-language content in the near future.
Marbury, who arrived in Beijing in 2011 and transformed both himself and his Beijing pro team into champions, is the heart of the film which covers his move to China. Retired NBA star Allen Iverson, and two-time NBA All Star Baron Davis also appear in the film.
SK Global – a joint venture between Ivanhoe Pictures and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment – are backing the project, alongside Hairun Pictures, with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment releasing in the USA.
Larry Yang is directing the film.
“This is a terrific story, with appeal to both Chinese and Western audiences, about a Westerner who re-defined himself in China, and how China in turn embraced him,” said John Penotti, President of Ivanhoe Pictures/SK Global. “Ultimately, Marbury’s story is very inspirational, about second chances and perseverance through adversity. We are very pleased to be working with our friends at Hariun. Moreover, we are thrilled to be in Larry’s imaginative and capable hands as he guides this terrific production.”
Marbury has been playing basketball professionally in China since 2010, first signing with the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association, before moving over to join the Foshan Dralions, and then the Beijing Ducks, taking the team to the playoffs, and eventually to their first ever CBA Finals match-up against the then 7-time champion Guangdong Southern Tigers, during the 2011–2012 season.
In 2014, Marbury won a second CBA championship with the Beijing Ducks, and just last year (2016), he won his third CBA championship with the team.
Following the team’s 2012 championship, a statue of Marbury was unveiled on the lawn of the MasterCard Center in Beijing. Dennis Rodman spoke at the ceremony.
Writing in the state-run China Daily, Marbury credited the success in his life to Chinese culture which he described as one “filled with love, compassion, and care”.
In his last year playing Stateside, for the NBA, Marbury was offered a one-year contract by the Boston Celtics for the 2009–10 season for the minimum salary. However, he didn’t agree to the contract. He later announced that he would take a year off from basketball to attend to his business interests. Months later, he moved to China, and the rest, as they say, is history.
He’s 39 years old by the way – practically an old man in NBA terms.
I assume the Chinese market is the film’s target audience first, followed by international distribution.
No ETA at this time.