“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, will premiere Thursday, September 28 at 12 p.m. ET, available for free (with ads). Originally greenlit as a series from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s now-defunct Quibi, “I Promise” was picked up as a feature by the YouTube Originals team. The NBA superstar’s 102-minute documentary premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Festival in June.
“I Promise” offers an in-depth look at the first grade inside James’ groundbreaking I Promise School, which opened in 2018 in Akron, adopting a new model of urban public education – a centered approach on STEM led by social-emotional learning and the “We Are Family” philosophy of the LeBron James Family Foundation. The film explores the daily trials, triumphs, and life-changing impact of school staff, students, and families.
“I Promise” is 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 is head of family, learning and impact for YouTube Originals, while head of development Zoe Di Stefano also oversees “I Promise” for YouTube Originals.
YouTube Originals programming includes a new slate of sustainability-focused programs: “Seat at the Table,” with David Attenborough and creator Jack Harries; “Stay Wild” (working title) by Brave Wilderness in partnership with Appian Way and Madica Productions; and “Shut It Off ASAP” (working title) by AsapSCIENCE and B17 Entertainment.
Other YouTube Originals include projects recently launched by the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund such as “Bear Witness, Take Action 2,” which continued the racial justice movement 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 of race and socioeconomic status on health care and longevity.
Watch the trailer for “I Promise”: