Back9Network and Catapult Entertainment are proud to present a short film to honor the network’s mission statement of “growing the game of golf through the inclusion of all people.” Through the medium of shadow dance, Catapult and Back9’s video tells the story of a young boy’s personal connection with golf and the opportunities he was presented throughout his life by playing and loving the game.
“The collaboration was inspired primarily by Back9 board member, Sanford “Sandy” Cloud Jr., and his personal journey as a young African-American boy growing up in Hartford to becoming a prominent lawyer, business and civic leader, and two-term state senator,” said James L. Bosworth Jr., Back9Network’s Chairman and CEO.
Cloud’s passion for golf began in the summer of 1957, when he was refused a job picking shade tobacco because he was only 13 years old, a year younger than the age requirement to work there. Instead, Cloud spent the summer caddying for a friend at Tumble Brook Country Club, where he was first introduced to the game. By 1979, he was admitted as the first African- American member of The Country Club of Farmington and the first African-American of any private golf club in Greater Hartford.
“We believed it would be most appropriate to release the video publicly during Black History Month since the inspiration we received for this film derived from Sandy’s contributions to our community and our sport. As we share this collaboration, we remember that diversity forges growth and brings people together,” concluded Bosworth.
Back9Network management discovered Catapult Entertainment through its well-known performance on NBC’s talent competition show, “America’s Got Talent.” The two young companies were able to quickly collaborate on the project over the last several months with both Back9Network and Catapult having their headquarters in Connecticut. To pay further homage to their Connecticut roots, the short film incorporates musical contributions from Javier Colon, a Hartford native, recording artist, and winner of Season 1 of NBC’s “The Voice.”
The project was filmed at Connecticut’s famed Warner Theatre in Torrington, Conn., which was built by Warner Brothers Studios and opened in 1931 as a movie palace. The theatre was severely damaged in the 1955 Flood, and with business declining and maintenance needed, it was facing certain demolition in the 1980’s. The theatre was saved by a concerned group of citizens that formed the non-profit, Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts, Inc. (NWCAA), to purchase and restore Warner Theatre. This group led a dramatic grass-roots campaign successfully raising the money necessary to purchase and restore Warner Theatre.
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