IMDb > Elevate (2011)
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Elevate (2011) More at IMDbPro »

Elevate -- From a basketball academy in Senegal, to the high-pressure world of American prep schools, the film documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four particularly tall West African Muslim teenage boys with NBA dreams.


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Release Date:
March 2011 (USA) See more »
From a basketball academy in Senegal, to the high-pressure world of American prep schools, the film documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four particularly tall West African Muslim teenage boys with NBA dreams. | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
An Uplifting African Hoop Dreams See more (2 total) »


Dethie ... Himself
Amadou Gallo Fall ... Himself

Directed by
Anne Buford 
Produced by
Mark Becker .... producer
Anne Buford .... producer
Chiemi Karasawa .... producer
Jesse Ruuttila .... co-producer
Victoria Yoffie .... producer
Original Music by
Shawn Lee 
Cinematography by
Jesse Ruuttila 
Shane Sigler 
Daniel Vecchione 
Film Editing by
Mark Becker 
Richard Hankin 
Christopher White 
Sound Department
Giles Khan .... sound mixer
Dominick Tavella .... re-recording mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Max Blecker .... assistant camera
Peter Cairns .... camera operator
Joshua Jacobs .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Brian Boyd .... colorist
Ryan Bukowski .... assistant editor
Pete Conlin .... post production
Richard Hankin .... supervising editor
Jonathan Hoffman .... post production
Brian Reali .... on-line producer
Jesse Ruuttila .... associate editor
Music Department
John M. Davis .... music editor
Other crew
Bethany Haynes .... production legal
Brandon Rosser .... production accountant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Rated PG for brief mild language
USA:81 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
An Uplifting African Hoop Dreams, 16 March 2011
Author: JustCuriosity from Austin, TX, United States

Anne Huford's film Elevate had its world premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival where it was well-received. Elevate is the inspiring story of a group of young men who attended the SEEDS Academy in Senegal as step towards taking their basketball skills to the United States. This is the first step of a journey from their homeland to American prep schools to college basketball fueled by the dream of playing in the NBA. While most will probably not make it all the way to the NBA, their journeys will gain them a priceless education and skills that they can use to help their families and their country. Huford documents their struggles which include academics (as they learn English), religious (as these young Muslims adapt to the U.S. and attempt to observe Ramadam, pray and avoid pork), visa problems, injuries, learning to drive, and even simple stuff like fitting under desks that weren't designed for 7 ft. frames. Like so many before them, they are coming to the United States in an attempt to pursue the immigrant's American Dream.

The story is told in a personal and intimate manner that bespeaks Huford's personal connection to story. Her project was actually inspired by the similar journey several years before by her adopted nephew from Cameroon who faced many of the same struggles. These young men have taken an incredible journey and Huford has given us the chance to share that journey. In one sense, this film could be viewed in parallel with Steve James's classic Hoop Dreams which explores the journey of underprivileged American youths chasing an NBA dreams and faces struggles both similar and different as the young men in Elevate. Huford's film is beautifully done and enhanced by the use of African music. She has allowed the young men to tell their stories and given us the privilege of witnessing their story.

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