“Amazingly involving...it’s a strongly told story with a powerful narrative motor...in basketball terms, it’s a ‘swoosh.’" indieWire
At SEEDS Academy in Dakar, Senegal, the best and tallest young basketball players from across West Africa are hand-picked to take part in a strenuous program of academics and athletic training. For these seven-foot-tall sixteen-year-olds, the rewards can be huge. Full scholarships to the top US prep schools will pave the way to college and open the door to basketball at the NCAA level, where the right combination of skill and dedication will not only earn them a great education, but even a shot at the NBA.
Filmed over four years, ELEVATE follows the high-stakes journey of four young men across two continents, documenting the daunting challenges that come with being a stranger in a very foreign place. From mastering English, dating and drivers’ ed to navigating the vagaries that come with being a seven-foot-tall Muslim at a Christian high school, ELEVATE challenges the conventional conceptions of Africa, America and athletes while documenting the extraordinary personal journeys of four teens with big hearts, open minds and very tall dreams.
“A feel-good documentary that keeps you smiling and inspired.”—Film Threat
Studio:Sharp 7 Films LLC c/o The Film Sales Company
Licensor:Sharp 7 Films LLC
Crew:Jesse Ruuttila (co-producer), Daniel Vecchioni (camera), Shawn Lee (music), Mark Becker (editor), Chris White (editor) Richard Hankin, A.C.E. (supervising editor), RC Buford (executive producer), Peter Holt (executive producer), Robert S. Kaplan (executive producer), Executive producers for espn Conor Schell (executive producer for ESPN), Daniel Silver (executive producer for ESPN), Chiemi Karasawa Mark Becker (producer), Victoria Yoffie (producer), Anne Buford (producer)