At SEEDS Academy (Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal) in Dakar, Senegal, the best young basketball players from across West Africa are hand-picked to take part in a strenuous program of academics and athletic training for a chance at a full scholarship to a top U.S. prep school. ELEVATE features four scholarship recipients as they travel to America with a hope to play basketball at the NCAA level and eventually the NBA. As a “love letter” to the sport, Docurama Films will release ELEVATE on cable VOD, standard digital platforms and DVD on February
Director Anne Buford follows the high-stakes journey of these young men over four years and across two continents, documenting the daunting challenges that come with being a stranger in a very foreign place. Challenging more conventional perception of Africa, America and athletes, the film documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four teens with big hearts, open minds and very tall
As they make their transitions to life in America, the seven-foot-tall sixteen-year-olds must deal with obstacles such as mastering English, dating, and drivers’ ed to navigating the vagaries that come with being a Muslim at a Christian high
Featured performers in the film include:
Amadou Gallo Fall—Amadou is the founder and director of SEEDS Academy. In the 1980s, he obtained a basketball scholarship to the University of the District of Columbia. After playing and working as a scout for the Dallas Mavericks and serving as Director of Player Personnel and Vice President of International Affairs, Amadou was promoted to the Vice President of Development for the NBA in Africa.
Aziz N’Diaye—Aziz attended the Lake Forest Academy in Illinois where he became a prospect for top college basketball recruiters, ultimately choosing to attend the University of Washington.
Assane Sene—Assane made good on a promise he made to his mother before she died that he would receive an education and be successful through basketball. Assane continued his education at South Kent School in Connecticut and, was heavily recruited and after graduating high school, chose to attend the University of Virginia.
Dethie Fall—Dethie would like to be a doctor and help his impoverished community. Like Assane, he attended South Kent School and is currently playing basketball at Roanoke College in Virginia.
Byago Diouf—Byago is determined to help his impoverished family, especially his ailing mother. After playing in a world basketball tournament in Arizona, he attended the College of Southern Idaho and is currently a point guard for the Caroll College basketball team in Montana.
The film premiered at the 2011 SXSW and won the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Documentary at the 2011 Dallas International Film Festival. It was also an official selection at the Los Angeles Film Festival and BAM CinemaFest.
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
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