From the heart of Chicago comes this compelling documentary about the young basketball player, Keifer Sykes. A promising basketballer, a father and the oldest of a large family, Sykes’ goal is to play amongst his idols in the NBA. The main protagonist exudes such proximity, honesty and humility that viewers cannot help but follow his journey with great interest, anxious to see him achieve his dream and hopeful that things go his way. Taking on challenge after challenge, overcoming obstacle after obstacle, Sykes ascension from the Marshall High School basketball team to the NBA draft has not been an easy one. Loss and the passing of time will be part of an emotional burden that, added to his short stature and the few possibilities that are offered to him, Sykes will have to overcome to reach his goal.
Nick Budabin, director of Chi-Town, turned his lens and his attention to a young Sykes, convinced that his incredible talent and abilities would lead him to great things far beyond his West Side neighborhood. Budabin’s documentary shows us the violent and harsh reality of these young people in Chicago who yearn for something else: a way out, an escape route from this place where their safety is never guaranteed. The high level of criminality in Chicago is a shadow that is constantly lurking in the background. Despite the valuable work of everyday heroes who try to give an outlet to street life through basketball, many people around Sykes will be left behind. Only a few will find a way out of street violence before violence finds them.
Direction: Nick Budabin
Cinematography: Matt Elkind
Subtitles: Antti Savinen
2018: SXSW Festival