The film opens today at the AMC Grapevine Mills 30 here locally and across the country as well. The doc’s website has a great short synopsis of the film.
“From a basketball academy in West Africa to the high-pressure world of American prep schools, ELEVATE documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four particularly tall West African teenagers with big hearts, open minds, and NBA dreams. ”
Aziz, Byago, Dethie, and Assane (l-to-r) in a scene from ELEVATE. (Due to NCAA regulations we won’t be printing the boys full names).
At this year’s Dallas International Film Festival we had the wonderful chance to see Elevate and meet its Director Anne Buford. She was awesome enough to chat with PSD just the other day about all the fun things that have happened since DIFF 2011.
There is a lot to Mrs. Buford. Not only is she now an award-winning documentary director but she’s had an amazing career in media, politics and sports business. She worked with Mayor Bloomberg and most notably worked at Vogue Magazine with “THE” Anna Wintour! In fact we started our chat by talking about the funny way Anne was hired on at Vogue.
Anne talked about going to her brother (RC Buford the GM of the San Antonio Spurs!) about trying to figure out how to cover basketball thru an in-depth documentary.
Anne and I talked a lot about the SEEDS Academy and about how Amadou Gallo Fall ,of the Dallas Mavericks organization, has really helped showcase his homeland’s young talent. I asked Anne what made these four boys stand out.
Byago (far left), Dethie (rear), Assane (front), and Aziz (far right) relax with a video game.
The story of the boys trying to get to America and what happens when they make it really takes the documentary into a whole new level.
I was curious about the Texas ties to the film and how that played a roll in where the film would be shown festival wise.
Anne talks about her true inspiration behind making this film, her brother RC’s adopted son.
We then chatted about Anne’s wonderful time in Dallas at the DIFF 2011 with of course (PSD buddies) James Faust and Sarah Harris. O and some guy named PETER FONDA!!!
Finally Anne and I chatted about two heroes of mine. First up the amazing documentary filmmaker Steve “Hoop Dreams” James.
And the San Antonio Great David Robinson. This is a really cool story about how the African kids really loved The Admiral as well!
Easily one of the best basketball documentaries ever!!
Like the film on Facebook, here.
Here is the official site.
And GO SEE IT ALREADY!!