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Champaign native Ryan Mondak will be featured on the soundtrack for the new film Sweetwater

A black and white photo of Ryan Mondak on stage, playing a guitar. He's a white man with wavy hair.
Ryan Mondak on Instagram

The soundtrack for an upcoming film about one of the first African American basketball players in the NBA, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, will feature Champaign Central High School graduate Ryan Mondak (class of 2015). Mondak plays guitar for several of the songs on Sweetwater’s soundtrack, and his girlfriend Emmaline — as she is professionally known — plays Sweetwater’s jazz-singer love interest in the film. Emmaline, a native of Anderson, Indiana, sings several songs for the film in addition to her acting role. The film stars Everett Osborne as the titular character, and likewise features Cary Elwes, Richard Dreyfuss, Kevin Pollak, Eric Roberts, and Jeremy Piven.

Emmaline and Mondak lived in Champaign in 2019 after Mondak graduated from the University of Cincinnatti, where the couple met. The film marks Emmaline’s first time acting, although she has a popular social media presence. Champaign-Urbana residents may already be familiar with Emmaline and Mondak’s music. While they now live in Nashville and tour often to Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Chicago, they have performed in the past at the Iron Post, Neil St. Blues, as part of a Champaign Park District event, as well at a family event at Countryside School.

The film opens April 14th. You can view the trailer here.

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