“I Promise,” a documentary film that tells the story of LeBron James’ efforts to close the educational achievement gap in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, is coming to the YouTube Originals channel later this month.
The film, directed by Marc Levin, premieres Thursday, Sept. 28, at 12 p.m. ET, available free to watch (with ads). Originally greenlit as a series by Jeffrey Katzenberg’s now-defunct Quibi, “I Promise” was picked up as a feature-length film by the YouTube Originals team. The 102-minute documentary from the NBA superstar premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Festival in June.
“I Promise” provides an in-depth look at the first academic year inside James’ groundbreaking I Promise School, which opened in 2018 in Akron, adopting a new model for urban public education – a STEM-focused approach led by Social Emotional Learning and the LeBron James Family Foundation’s “We Are Family” philosophy. The film explores the day-to-day trials, triumphs and life-changing impact of the school staff, students and families.
“I Promise” is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter through their media conglomerate The SpringHill Co., alongside Marc Levin, Jamal Henderson, Philip Byron, Nicholas Lopez, Daniel B. Levin, Catherine Cyr and Josh Gold. Susanne Daniels is global head of original content for YouTube; Nadine Zylstra serves as head of family, learning and impact for YouTube Originals with development manager Zoe Di Stefano also overseeing “I Promise” for YouTube Originals.
YouTube Originals’ lineup includes an upcoming new slate of sustainability focused programming: “Seat at the Table,” with David Attenborough and creator Jack Harries; “Stay Wild” (working title) from Brave Wilderness in partnership with Appian Way and Madica Productions; and “Shut It Off ASAP” (working title) from AsapSCIENCE and B17 Entertainment.
Other YouTube Originals include recently launched projects from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund such as “Bear Witness, Take Action 2,” which continued the movement on racial justice to evoke change and protect Black lives; “Resist,” a documentary series from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors; and “Barbershop Medicine,” exploring the impact race and socioeconomic status have on healthcare and longevity.
Watch the trailer for “I Promise”: