Sports film documentary depicts Black athletes in Pittsburgh

With little time and resources, the Rights and Responsibilities Film group (Pittsburgh owned and operated) has finally introduced their film documentary “Lost in the Hype—African Americans in a Super Sports town.”

“We started this film in January 2008 and expected to have this project completed by December 2008 so that we can be in time for this to be a part of the Pittsburgh 250 efforts, however, due to various setbacks, we were not able to (finish within that time frame),” said Aisha White, the film’s executive producer.



The film sheds light on many different topics, ranging from the town’s history in sports to the issues that Blacks face in trying to develop Black youths into good athletes in all sports.”

“It was a good production. Good enough that I suggested that (White make provisions for the film to be broadcasted), nationally on ESPN. It told the story on a local platform and revealed some issues that present themselves all over the nation,” said Rock Robinson of the Western Pennsylvania Minority Golf Association.

The process would present its fair share of financial difficulties. There was a smaller than usual budget for this project and this, according to White, made it difficult for the film to be complete.

“We made this film with the grand total of funding at $10,000,” White said. “That is a small amount to make a movie. We were determined to make this production be the best that it could be.”

Other perspectives were thrown into the mix from a production aspect. One of those was that of Martha Conley, another Pittsburgh native, who served as the associate producer of the film. She is a filmmaker as well and is in the process of producing her own documentary.

“I am very pleased with the turnout of this film,” said Conley. “I learned a lot throughout this process. It has been a much more of a collaborative project than that of my own documentary and the team that White put together worked really well for the most part.”

There were also a number of local and national representatives that took part and shared their ideas on some of the movie’s topics. Robinson was one of them and wants to see the film reach higher heights.

“This film was just as good as ‘Uneven Fairways’ (a documentary about minorities in golf that was also televised on ESPN). It was a blessing in disguise that the film had such limited resources so that it could provide the type of information and feel that it did (in its current form),” Robinson said.

The group has already sponsored two private screenings and plans to have multiple public screenings in the near future. The locations and times will be announced. Fund-raising for “Lost in the Hype” continues. Funds are needed for film festival submissions and distribution. Donations may be sent to Rights and Responsibilities at 5706 East Liberty Blvd., Pittsburgh Pa. 15206.

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