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Steve James

Steve James

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Hampton, Virginia, USA Profession: director, editor, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Back in 1987, documentary director-producer Steve James and his partner Frederick Marx joined with director of photography and producer Peter Gilbert to create a documentary about two ghetto youths from Chicago playing high school basketball and pursuing their dream to be on an NBA team. The filmmaking trio had only $2,500 with which to make the documentary, so they shot on video. After logging more than 250 hours of footage, they knew they had something more than a mere TV documentary. Instead, the result turned out to be the feature documentary "Hoop Dreams" (1994), which earned a place on most Top 10 lists and won virtually every critical award as Best Documentary although in a brouhaha that eventually changed the way Hollywood judges documentaries failed to be nominated for an Academy Award. In what was viewed as a sort of consolation prize, "Hoop Dreams" did earn an Oscar nomination for Best Film Editing. Some of the unused footage was employed in the 30-minute TV documentary "Higher Goals" (PBS, 1992) which was nominated for an Emmy. With Spike Lee, the trio has also been collaborating on an TNT special based on the film.

Back in 1987, documentary director-producer Steve James and his partner Frederick Marx joined with director of photography and producer Peter Gilbert to create a documentary about two ghetto youths from Chicago playing high school basketball and pursuing their dream to be on an NBA team. The filmmaking trio had only $2,500 with which to make the documentary, so they shot on video. After logging more than 250 hours of footage, they knew they had something more than a mere TV documentary. Instead, the result turned out to be the feature documentary "Hoop Dreams" (1994), which earned a place on most Top 10 lists and won virtually every critical award as Best Documentary although in a brouhaha that eventually changed the way Hollywood judges documentaries failed to be nominated for an Academy Award. In what was viewed as a sort of consolation prize, "Hoop Dreams" did earn an Oscar nomination for Best Film Editing. Some of the unused footage was employed in the 30-minute TV documentary "Higher Goals" (PBS, 1992) which was nominated for an Emmy. With Spike Lee, the trio has also been collaborating on an TNT special based on the film.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Head Games (2012)
4.
5.
  Stevie (2002) Director
8.
  Passing Glory (1999) Director
9.
  Prefontaine (1997) Director
10.
  Hoop Dreams (1994) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Stevie (2002) Himself
2.
 Hoop Dreams (1994) Narration
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1986:
Began producing and directing documentaries for Kartemquin Films
1991:
Wrote and directed documentary "Grassroots Chicago"
1994:
Directed first feature length documentary "Hoop Dreams"; nominated for an Oscar for Best Film Editing
:
Formed Longshot Films with Peter Gilbert
:
Signed two-year deal with Disney
1997:
Directed first feature, the biopic "Prefontaine"; also co-wrote with Eugene Corr
1999:
Helmed the TNT movie "Passing Glory"
2002:
Directed and produced the documentary "Stevie"
2005:
Directed and produced the documentary "Reel Paradise," about the world's most remote movie theater located in Fiji
2008:
Helmed the documentary "At the Death House Door," which investigated the wrongful death of Carlos DeLuna, who was executed in Texas on Dec. 7, 1989; also produced
2011:
Directed and produced "The Interrupters," a documentary about a city grappling with urban violence
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

James Madison University: Harrisonburg , Virginia - 1977
Southern Illinois University: - 1985

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