A Most Beautiful Thing

"A Most Beautiful Thing," narrated and executive produced by Common, along with NBA Stars Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade, and directed by Mary Mazzio, chronicles the first African American high school rowing team in this country (made up of young men, many of whom were from different neighborhoods and rival gangs from the West Side of Chicago), all coming together to row in the same boat.

This project explores not only the safety these young men found on the water, but the trauma of gang violence and systemic poverty, examining how these young men were able to support each other in reimagining a different future for themselves, and how the water provided the backdrop for that opportunity.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Mary Mazzio




Director: Mary Mazzio
Executive Producer: Common, Grant Hill, Dwyane Wade, 9th Wonder, Bill Hudson, John Carlson, Ginny Gilder, Lynn Slaughter, Bill McNabb, Katie McNabb, Bryan White, Christine White, Bruce Herring, Tricia Herring, Ted Dintersmith, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, Doris Casap, Ashley Bekton, Chaz Ebert, Rick Lane
Producer: Mary Mazzio
Screenwriter: Mary Mazzio
Cinematographer: Joseph Grasso
Editor: Andrew Eldridge, Tom Cole, Mary Mazzio
Music: 9th Wonder, Alex Lasarenko
Principal Cast: Arshay Cooper, Alvin Ross, Preston Grandberry, Malcolm Hawkins, Ray “Pookie G” Hawkins, Angie Ross, Ken Alpart, Craig Nash, Mike Teti, Uriah Hall


Publicity Contact
Betsy Sherman
Primary Entry: Platinum Badge, Film Badge
Secondary Entry: Music Badge, Interactive Badge, Film Festival Wristband

Year: 2020
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Genre: Biography, Documentary, Family, Sports
Screening Section: Documentary Spotlight
Screening Category: Documentary Feature
Country: United States
Language: English
Runtime: 97 mins