A $175,000 grant for the movie My Many Sons has been announced by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The film about Don Meyer’s years of coaching men’s basketball will be filmed in Music City. The movie is based on Meyer’s career as a successful head basketball coach, including his years coaching the Lipscomb University men’s team from 1975-1999, and the many lives he influenced along the way. Throughout the next three weeks of filming in Nashville, Lipscomb University students will gain hands on experience as interns on set and be cast as extras in the movie.
“Tennessee’s rich history as a center of creative excellence in the film and music industries makes Nashville the perfect location choice for My Many Sons,” Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “Lipscomb University is an great asset to our community and our state and I am pleased Don Meyer’s leadership and contribution over the years at such a respected institution will be highlighted in this film. My Many Sons’ decision to film here, offer Lipscomb University students valuable behind-the-scenes learning opportunities and hire local actors, is a testament to the kind of creative and collaborative environment our department works to support and highlight around our state.”
While head coach at Lipscomb University, Meyer led the team to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship in 1986. During his time in Nashville, Meyer posted a record of 665 wins to179 losses in his 24 years at the school. Meyer left Lipscomb in 1999 to become the men’s head basketball coach at Northern State University in South Dakota. Before he retired as the NSU coach in 2010, Meyer became the winningest men’s basketball coach in NCAA history.
The movie will explore Meyer’s career as a basketball coach, focus on the lives he influenced both on and off the court, and recount Meyer’s incredible life story. Meyer nearly died in a 2008 car crash, discovered he had cancer, had part of his left leg amputated and won several national awards, including the 2009 ESPY for the Jimmy V (Jim Valvano) Award For Perseverance. Meyer also became a nationally recognized motivational speaker and the subject of an award-winning book, How Lucky You Can Be. Meyer passed away in May 2014 at the age of 69.
My Many Sons is being directed by Ralph E. Portillo and produced by Higher Purpose Entertainment and Hemisphere Entertainment, led by film producers Brad Wilson and Casey Bond. Wilson operated Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall’s production company, Butcher’s Run Films, and worked with Duvall on nearly 20 films, including some of Duvall’s most memorable achievements, such as Days of Thunder, Falling Down, and Lonesome Dove.
“I always love taking my films out of Los Angeles and taking them to different parts of the country,” Wilson said. “When you do get out into different places like Nashville, people appreciate the craft and appreciate what you’re doing. I want to thank the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, & Music Commission for accommodating us and making it possible for us to film this movie in Tennessee.”
My Many Sons is tentatively scheduled for release in early April 2015, to coincide with the conclusion of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.