The Champion

When second-grader Jacob begins to exhibit some troubling behaviors in school his mother must battle racism, ableism, and a global pandemic to ensure he receives services rather than a suspension.

  • Tonya McCornell
  • Akima A. Brown
  • Akima A. Brown
    Orange Morning, Kids & Couture
  • India Marie Cross
    Key Cast
    "Melissa Sylvan"
  • Caleb Avery
    Key Cast
    "Jacob Sylvan"
    The Resident
  • Princess Elmore
    Key Cast
    "Dr. Millen"
  • Mandy Corbett
    Key Cast
    "Mrs. Bonoc"
  • Brian Childers
    Key Cast
    "Principal Ripfield"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Family, Social, Impact, Awareness
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 15, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4K // Arri ProRes
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Micheaux Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    July 11, 2022
    Official Selection
  • New Filmmaker Los Angeles
    Los Angeles
    United States
    February 20, 2022
    InFocus: Cinema in Black
    Official Selection
  • Black TV & Film Collective Private Screening
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    December 16, 2021
    North American Premiere
    Awarded Fellowship Screening
Director Biography - Tonya McCornell

Tonya McCornell is a director, writer, and producer. She does a lot of work around dynamic female characters, social issues, and exploring the human experience. Her short film Too Much Love is being used in partnership with AIDS Healthcare Foundation as a PSA about HIV. Another short of hers, Trayvia, was named to honor Trayvon Martin and has been called “a visceral response to police brutality”. As a filmmaking mom, she was inspired to tell the story of "The Champion" and bring a strong Black mother-advocate to the screen in the form of Melissa Sylvan.

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