John Legend isn’t technically from Philadelphia, but after graduating from Penn in 1999 and giving the university’s commencement speech a mere 15 years later, I think it’s safe to say Philly has adopted him as one of our own. We all know about Legend’s musical successes — I still haven’t gotten his beautiful 2013 track “All of Me” out of my head — but you might be less familiar his with foray into Hollywood as a producer.
That’s right, Legend also owns a production company called Get Lifted. The company helped fund the documentary Can You Dig This, which tells the story of an urban gardening project in the high-crime, low-income South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles. Directed by Delila Vallot, the film follows Ron Finley, a local community member who aims to “make gardening gangsta” by bringing the neighborhood together and keeping kids off the streets through an appreciation of nutrition. The film, which is executive produced by Legend, is currently making the rounds at various film festivals across the country and has been met with critical acclaim, winning the Jury Prize from the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival.
Check out the inspirational trailer below.
Unfortunately, the film isn’t screening here in Philly yet, but UPDATE: Per the producer, it will be screening Tuesday, December 1st at 7:30pm, at the Franklin Mills Mall 14, and more screenings are being organized for the coming months. You can keep tabs on it over at its official website.
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