When we first meet Josh, he's just a carefree Indiana farm boy-enjoying life, getting chastised by his widower father for tipping cows and taking joyrides on their landlord's tractor. But Josh's good times soon come to an end when his father's job relocates them from the heartland to the east coast. Josh, his father, and his hip-hop loving younger brother must move in with Josh's grandparents, who for years have owned a home on what is considered the mean streets of Newark, New Jersey. Undergoing the usual transplant hard knocks, Josh and his brother must quickly adapt to inner city life. When some neighborhood locals challenge him to a game of basketball, for example, calling him "white boy," Josh must prove to his black peers that he's got game too. Soon after enrolling in a Catholic high school, Josh is reunited with one of his rivals from the court, Anton, and the two quickly become friends. Through the game of basketball and a series of dramatic and nearly tragic events, the teen duo take a crash course on race, class, and surviving the pitfalls of urban life.
About the Director(s)Collapse
Phil Bertelsen works in both fiction and non-fiction. His first film, the drama Around the Time, was honored with several awards, including a Student Academy Award. His next film, The Sunshine, also won numerous festival awards including a Director's Guild East Award. Recently, he produced the IFP Spirit Award nominee Chisholm '72-Unbought and Unbossed. Rock the Paint received the Creative Promise Award in 2004 from Tribeca All Access. It is his first feature as director.