Director Martin Guigui discusses Sweetwater

Director Martin Guigui discusses Sweetwater

April 23, 2023 A DGA Membership Screening Q&A in Los Angeles

The story of the first African American signed by the NBA is retold in Director Martin Guigui’s biographical sports drama, Sweetwater.

Guigui’s film tells how the game of basketball was changed forever when the New York Knicks took the initiative to integrate the team with the historic introduction of Harlem Globetrotters player, Nathaniel ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton.

On April 23, after the DGA membership screening in Los Angeles, Guigui discussed the making of Sweetwater during a Q&A moderated by Director Jeremy Kagan (Shot) and spoke about challenges of maintaining a sense of historical accuracy.

“During the second team owner’s scene, we only had one camera that day and it was a challenge. There was improvisation but we also got what we needed from the page. It was rough because it was more than what I needed but a lot of the things were also going into a different direction than the actual story and I was being hyper-sensitive with our partnership with the NBA and staying true to the facts. I wanted to keep it historically factual. In an architectural type of way, I am open to all possibilities, but I've seen this movie for 28 years in my mind, every frame.”

Guigui’s other directorial credits include the feature films Paradise Cove, The Unhealer, 9/11, The Bronx Bull, Beneath the Darkness and Swing. He has been a DGA member since 2002.



Q&A photos by Elisa Haber – Print courtesy of Briarcliff Entertainment

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