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Robert Townsend has been a film and TV director for many years but in his new film Playing For Love premiering on Up TV on Sunday, he covers new ground. The rom-com, which also stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Jennifer Lewis and Laurence Hilton-Jacobs allowed Townsend to help kids in Miami learn filmmaking.

“The story behind the movie is really powerful. I went into Overtown [Miami] and I got kids and taught them how to make a movie. It took 20 days to shoot and another eight weeks to teach the kids how to make movies,” Townsend said. “They got to be in the movie. Jamba Juice was one of the sponsors and American Airlines gave us the arena to have basketball tryouts because the movie is about a basketball team.”

Townsend shot the movie in 20 days in Miami and spent another eight weeks working with young people teaching them filmmaking.

In the movie, Townsend plays a basketball coach who clashes with the mother of his star player. The clash, though, turns romantic as the two work together with the team.

“It’s a really funny movie. It’s a kind of homage to one of my favorite movies, Claudine. It’ll make you laugh and its classic comedy and silly, but it’s got some heart as well. Claudine is the movie that changed my life, because that was my life as a kid, my mom raising four kids on her own.”

Take a look at the trailer above.

Click the link above to hear the entire interview!

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