Anne Buford’s Elevate (pictured), a film about teenage Senegalese basketball players being recruited by American schools, has won the best documentary feature award at the fifth annual Dallas International Film Festival.
Filmed over four years, the doc follows the personal journeys of four particularly tall West African teenagers as they are taken on for basketball scholarships by prep schools in the United States.
The other main doc winner at the festival was Joseph Mantegna’s Norman Mailer: The American, which picked up the Special Jury Prize in the documentary category.
Elsewhere, Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus’s Wild Horse Wild Ride won the Audience Award for Documentary Feature; while the Environmental Visions Grand Jury Prize went to Marshall Curry’s If A Tree Falls. Finally, director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) was awarded a Steuben Crystal Dallas Star Award.
In receiving the Target Filmmaker Award for Elevate, Buford won a US$25,000 cash prize, which she said she would donate to the Seeds Academy, a boarding school in Senegal for basketball players.