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HD   PG Closed Captioning

Anne Buford

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About the Movie

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.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 11
  • Fresh: 8
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 6.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: We see these young men struggle with assimilation - mastering English and learning to drive, meeting girls, facing a headmaster hell-bent on sending one to Princeton - and feel their joy on trips home. And we exult when they graduate. – Andy Webster, New York Times, Oct 20, 2011

Fresh: It's all presented with equal parts humor and sensitivity... – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, Nov 3, 2011

Fresh: An upbeat but never sugarcoated look at how cultural diversity can provide as many roadblocks as it does opportunities. – Aaron Hillis, Village Voice, Oct 18, 2011

Rotten: Less comprehensive than the material calls for, which makes the cumulative effect little more than "Hoop Dreams"-lite. – Eric Kohn, indieWire, Oct 21, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Great Movie

This movie was great!!! Shows the harsh reality of life for many people and shows how hard work can get you places! These kids came from nothing to something, made the most of it!!


Great, thought-provoking documentary. For those who aren't aware, Ann Buford is the sister of RC Buford, the General Manager of the San Antonio Spurs.

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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings