By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire September 26, 2011 at 4:50AM
Variance Films announced today that it has acquired theatrical rights to Anne Buford's basketball documentary "Elevate." The film follows four Senegalese teenagers as they pursue their dreams of playing in the NBA.
"I’m a basketball fanatic, and, naturally, I love a great documentary that’s inspirational and fun without getting preachy. 'Elevate' is a swish on both of these levels, and I think audiences are going to fall in love with the four amazing kids in this truly heartwarming film,” said Variance Films founder Dylan Marchetti.
The film will open in New York at the AMC Empire 25 on October 21 before a nationwide rollout.
Full Press Release below:
Variance Films slam dunks announcement for acquisition of theatrical rights to ELEVATE
No lockout at movie theaters as basketball doc directed by Anne Buford to open next month
New York, September 22, 2011 – Variance Films has acquired US theatrical rights to the basketball documentary ELEVATE, it was announced today by founder Dylan Marchetti. Directed by Anne Buford, the film follows four teenagers from Senegal as they embark on a journey to fulfill their dreams of playing in the NBA. ELEVATE will open theatrically on October 21st in New York at the AMC Empire 25 in Times Square, and November 4th in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 before a national roll-out.
“I’m a basketball fanatic, and, naturally, I love a great documentary that’s inspirational and fun without getting preachy. ELEVATE is a swish on both of these levels, and I think audiences are going to fall in love with the four amazing kids in this truly heartwarming film,” said Variance Films’ Founder, Dylan Marchetti. “When you go looking for basketball in October, there may or may not be an NBA season, but I can promise you there’s not going to be a lockout at the movie theater, so bring the family and come on out!”
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.
The SEEDS Academy in Dakar, Senegal, sits on a small plot of land leased from the government. There, the best young basketball players from across West Africa gather to take part in a strenuous program of academics and athletic training. For those who stand out, the potential reward is huge: full scholarships to the top prep schools in the United States, where the right combination of skill and dedication will earn them a great education, pave the way to college, and open the door to basketball at the NCAA level… and maybe even a shot at the NBA.
ELEVATE follows four young men who make the cut, receive scholarships, and head off to the USA. Filmed over four years and across two continents, ELEVATE documents the daunting challenges they face, from the alienation that comes with being a seven foot tall Muslim at a Christian prep school (in an American culture rife with African stereotypes) to mastering English, adapting to aggressive American-style basketball… and navigating the vagaries of high school, girls, and drivers ed.
ELEVATE will also play theaters in Dallas and San Antonio on November 4th, in Chicago, Houston, Washington DC and Oklahoma City on November 11th, and in Seattle and Phoenix on November 18th, with additional markets to follow.
ELEVATE was directed by Anne Buford, produced by Buford, Chiemi Karasawa, Mark Becker, and Victoria Yoffie, edited by Mark Becker, Chris White, and Richard Hankin A.C.E., and features music by Shawn Lee. For more information, visit http://elevatethemovie.com