• Released
  • October 21, 2011
  • (NY; LA 11/4)
  • PG , 1 hr 23 min
  • Documentary
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Hoop dreams die hard, and the stories in Elevate are both sobering and thrilling.
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The New York Times

Mr. Fall, a former scout for the Dallas Mavericks, founded the Seeds Academy to nurture his countrymen. His conviction, level gaze and firm eloquence instill pride, drive and determination in his players. Mr. Fall, a coach on the court and in life, is the real champion here.
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Village Voice

Four years, two continents, and a whole lot of culture shock in the making, Anne Buford's endearing and vibrantly photographed hoop-dreams doc follows a quartet of gifted West African teens from the SEEDS Academy (Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal) as they head to the U.S. on basketball scholarships.
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By Eric Kohn
Elevate nails the mission, but not the message.
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Los Angeles Times

By Gary Goldstein
It's all presented with equal parts humor and sensitivity, though Buford doesn't much delve into the potential landmines here - racism, classism, exploitation - allowing the power of assimilation and opportunity to carry the day.
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New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
One of the many beautiful things about this affecting, informative doc is the opportunity it gives to see the American college sports world through different eyes.
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Slant Magazine

By Nick Schager
Long on hopefulness but short on sobering realities, Elevate proves a compelling if superficial look at the arduous path traveled by Senegalese teens hoping to make it to America for a higher education and an NBA career.
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Time Out New York

Elevate works as a sympathetic portrait of cultural adjustment (learning in a nonnative language, sticking to Muslim dietary restrictions), but never adequately addresses the problems of what's essentially a neocolonialist system designed to shape impoverished Africans into first-world profit-makers.
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67 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.