Filmmakers in person! Chicago premiere! Film Series : Black Harvest Film Festival 2018

Chi-Town

2018, Nick Budabin, USA, 82 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Aug 10th 8:30pm
  • Mon, Aug 13th 8:00pm

"An intimate and involving portrait...the 82-minute CHI-TOWN compensates for its size by making every shot count." - David Ehrlich, Indiewire

A documentary about a basketball hopeful from a disadvantaged South Side neighborhood is bound to draw comparisons to HOOP DREAMS, but this compelling portrait of former Marshall High star Keifer Sykes carves out its own identity. The film's five-year saga begins with the charismatic Sykes winding up his illustrious high-school career and heading for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Only 5'11", Sykes uses dazzling moves and amazing vertical launch to forge a record-breaking career at Green Bay, but the height factor becomes more critical when he tries to break into the NBA. The most significant difference between HOOP DREAMS and CHI-TOWN is that the latter takes place in the age of THE INTERRUPTERS. The contrast between Sykes's sheltered campus life and his violence-plagued hometown neighborhood becomes increasingly acute as friends, teammates, and even his coach are felled by incarceration and gunfire. TV veteran Budabin's superbly edited first feature maintains a propulsive energy while striking a fine balance between exciting court action, intimate character study, and wider social context. DCP digital. (MR) FF

August 10 & 13: Director Nick Budabin, producer Terry Minogue, and film subjects Keifer Sykes and Coach Shake are scheduled to appear for audience discussion at both screenings.