From the Rough

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From the Rough
From the Rough FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Pierre Bagley
Produced by Pierre Bagley
Michael J. Critelli[1]
Kevin E. Hooks[2]
Written by Michael A. Critelli
Pierre Bagley
Starring Taraji P. Henson
Tom Felton
Michael Clarke Duncan
Henry Simmons
LeToya Luckett
Justin Chon
Ben Youcef
Cinematography Giorgio Scali
Edited by Guy Ross
From The Rough Productions [1]
Distributed by Freestyle Releasing
Release date
Country United States
Language English
Budget almost $7 million[3]

From the Rough is a sports drama film based on the true story of Catana Starks, a former Tennessee State Tigers swim coach, who became the first woman ever to coach a college men’s golf team. With drive, passion, and guts, she took an unruly group of mismatched kids from around the world and guided them to an all-time record at the PGA National Collegiate Minority Championship.

Tasked with building Tennessee State’s first golf team and finding only one available African American golfer – Craig, a former caddy with plenty of talent but no confidence – Catana Starks pushes outside TSU’s Historically Black context, and, against huge resistance, opens up the roster to underprivileged kids from around the world. The film stars Taraji P. Henson as Coach Starks, as well as Tom Felton, Michael Clarke Duncan and LeToya Luckett. The film was co-written by Michael A. Critelli and Pierre Bagley and directed by Bagley.


Catana Starks, a professional swim coach gives up on coaching ladies' swimming. She later asks for a men's golf team to compete in the championship games, so her boss, Kendrick Paulsen assigns her. Five young men, Edward from London, Ji-Kyung (nicknamed Young Ji) from Korea, Craig from Georgia, Cameron from Australia and Bassam from Paris all begin their first session with Coach Starks and it is proven to be difficult. Edward is attracted to fellow student, Stacey who was coached by Starks in ladies' swimming. When the first game turns out to be disastrous, Coach Starks confronts all of her team members and encourages them to be better before the championship games take place. Craig's golfing skills turn out to be difficult when performing in front of his team mates, so Starks helps him with his communication skills when hitting. All five men attend a private party, where Edward is upset when Stacey breaks up with him after she received advice from Starks, who brands Edward as a criminal with bad qualifications. Bassam takes his anger out on one of the party members, so Cameron assures him that they could all be kicked off the team if he is aggressive towards others. Edward confronts Starks about her life and she realizes that her team means so much to her, so she gets back on board and speaks to all five members individually. When speaking with Edward, Starks reveals something personal about her past; she had a boyfriend, who proposed to her when she was competing in a golf tournament, but sadly let him down by rejecting his marriage proposal. He then left. Starks makes Edward see that she didn't want the same thing happening to Stacey. One Thursday, Edward, Craig, Bassam, Cameron and Young Ji all go to Starks' place for dinner. There, she reveals to all of them that she will be departing from her job after the tournament, but decides to make a plan so that her team will win the championship. Ken is impressed with Starks' work with the men's golf team and sees something positive happening. At the championship during the first round, Craig chokes when he is manipulated and bullied by one of the other golf members from another team he is competing against. Cameron suffers an allergic reaction to some shellfish, which means he cannot compete in the final rounds of the championship, so Starks makes her four finalists realize how important it is to perform in front of the other schools. Craig's communication with golfing turns out to be a success when he puts and is now in the lead of winning first place. When one of the members is trying to putt, Edward distracts him, using a technique he learnt from Cameron.As a result the team comes in first place.



Executive producer Michael J. Critelli discovered the story that is the basis for the film in 2004, and spent over five years and "several hundred thousand dollars" acquiring the rights to film it and getting a screenplay,[4] which was co-written by his son Michael A. Critelli.[5]

Principal photography began in New Orleans on October 4, 2010,[2] using the Dillard University campus as the main location.[3] Principal photography was completed in early 2011.

On July 1, 2011, the film had a preview screening at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans;[6] it was also shown on Labor Day weekend at the "2011 Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion" in Orlando, FL[7] and October 5, 2011 at the International Black Film Festival in Nashville, Tennessee;[3] It was originally scheduled for a February 3, 2012 theatrical release[3][4]

The movie is dedicated "In Loving Memory of Michael Clarke Duncan".


  1. ^ a b McNary, Dave (February 23, 2011). "Pair team for urban pix". Variety. Retrieved 2012-09-04. Gyre recently wrapped principal photography on golfing drama From the Rough, starring Taraji P. Henson, Tom Felton, Michael Clarke Duncan and LeToya Luckett. 
  2. ^ a b McNary, Dave (August 5, 2010). "Taraji P. Henson swings for golf drama". Variety. Retrieved 2012-09-04. Taraji P. Henson will star in indie sports drama From the Rough, with production set to start in New Orleans on Oct. 4.... Critelli and Kevin E. Hooks will exec produce. 
  3. ^ a b c d DeVille, Nancy (September 26, 2011). "Hollywood tells story of female Tenn. State men's golf coach". The Tennessean. USA Today. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  4. ^ a b Obenson, Tambay A. (March 1, 2012). "Director Pierre Bagley Talks To S&A About "From The Rough" Release Problems + Reply From The Opposition". Shadow and Act (blog). IndieWire. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  5. ^ Official website
  6. ^ Obenson, Tambay A. (June 12, 2011). "From The Rough Preview Screening At Essence Music Festival Next Month". Shadow and Act (blog). IndieWire. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  7. ^

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