Ball is Ball

Inspired by the life experience of writer/director Kayla Robinson, 'Ball is Ball' is a narrative short film about the lasting impact and complicated nuances of sexual assault. The story follows Robin Coleman, a high school basketball star who’s caught the attention of her dream college — and her crush. While sharing the excitement, she misplaces her trust in a friend and soon learns the ill-intention of another unsuspected admirer.

  • Kayla Robinson
  • Kayla Robinson
  • Kayla Robinson
  • Amanda Beane
  • Freddie Whitman
    Director of Photography
  • Amanda Beane
    Production Design
  • Zoë Mountain
  • Antonio "Peachcurls" Maclin Jr
    Music & Sound
  • Tiffany Tenille
    Key Cast
    "Robin Coleman"
  • Jordan Covington
    Key Cast
    "Deshaun Perkins"
  • Courtney Thomas
    Key Cast
    "Brittney (Britt) Johnson"
  • Trent Allen Davis
    Key Cast
    "Thomas Walker"
  • Josiah Polhemus
    Key Cast
    "Coach T"
  • Shahd Elkhier
    Key Cast
  • Cameron James Matthews
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 23, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm, Digital
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kayla Robinson

Kayla Robinson is a director, writer and artist born in San Antonio, TX. After receiving her B.A. in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin, she began her career as an art director in New York and Silicon Valley developing award-winning ads and films for top brands like Apple and Snickers.

Passionate about capturing authentic human experiences, Kayla harnesses vulnerability as a superpower. Her first short film ‘Ball is Ball’, inspired by her own experience with sexual trauma, received high praise for its honest portrayal of PTSD in sexual assault survivors. Her latest film, ‘Quilted Education’, is a touching documentary short that celebrates her mother’s artistry and drive to keep Black History alive through quilting.

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Director Statement

‘Ball is Ball’ was inspired by events that have lived in my journals and been discussed in therapy for years. The first time I got drunk with friends, I blacked out. When I came back into consciousness I was being sexually assaulted by another friend in a house I’d never been in. I was in high school and didn’t know how to handle the situation, so I didn’t tell my parents and no report was ever filed. With the rise of the #MeToo movement in recent years and the criticism against survivors that came with it, asking “why now” or “that was so long ago”, I wanted to shed light on how present trauma can feel no matter how much time has passed. For fellow survivors, I wanted to create a film that felt honest without glorifying the horror, but also encouraged them to show themselves empathy if their instinctual reaction to a situation isn’t what they’d always planned. Creating this project has been therapeutic in many ways and my hope is that it can be a stop on someone else’s healing journey as well.

We made several conscious decisions in our filmmaking including shooting on film and digital. The film portion creates a nostalgic feeling for the memory that’s taking place. We furthered this distinction through our wardrobe and set design, placing older technology throughout. The change to digital and tighter aspect ratio at the end is to emphasize the confinement our character Robin is feeling in the present. I had an amazingly talented cast and crew that really poured themselves into the project. This film will always be special to me and I hope you enjoy it.