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Benji

Gala

World Premiere

USA | 78 MINUTES | English |

BENJI

Sports, Documentary
In 1984, 17-year-old Ben Wilson was a symbol of everything promising about Chicago: a sweet-natured youngster from the city's fabled South Side, and America's top high school basketball prospect. Nicknamed "Magic Johnson with a jump shot," Wilson's natural talents and drive assured his best years were yet to come. Then, in November of his senior year, the career of this exceptional youngster was abruptly and tragically cut short. Ben's grim fate sent ripples of horror through the city and the country.

Best known for their visionary music videos for such superstars as Kanye West and Mos Def, filmmakers Coodie and Chike bring viceral sophistication to a narrative that feels as raw today as it did 28 years ago. Told through awe-inspiring footage of his high school glory days along with candid interviews with teammates, coaches, family, and friends, Benji is a stirring portrait of a phenom admired both on the court and off.

 

Talent scheduled to appear (subject to change): Prince Amukamara, Martellus Bennett, Ahmad Bradshaw, David Tyree, Pras, LaShawn Merritt, Damon Dash, Vashtie, Common, Mos Def, Lamar Odom, Rob Kardashian, Wood Harris, Steve Jackson

 

Update 3.23: Please note that one screening time has changed.

 

Note: Festival badges will not grant admission to this special event.

 

This film is appropriate for teenagers and up.


CAST & CREDITS

Directed by Chike, Coodie, Coodie, and Chike

Coodie and Chike first collaborated on the music video for Kanye West's "Through the Wire." They have worked with such music luminaries as Erykah Badu, Christina Aguilera, Gil Scott-Heron, and John Legend. They also formed Creative Control, a production and talent development company, and host creativecontrol.tv, an online video channel that develops original hip-hop content.
Animations
Alex Cardia
Associate Producer
Ryan Goldberg
Producer
Amani Martin, Ted Schillinger
Illustrator
Michael Marsicano
Editor
Jason Schmidt
Composer
Mechalie Jamison, Steve "Silk" Hurley
Director
Coodie, Chike

CONTACTS

Press Contact
JayJay Nesheim
ESPN
Phone: 646 547 5839
jayjay.nesheim@espn.com
Press Contact
Jennifer Cingari
ESPN
Jennifer.J.Cingari@espn.com
Technical Contact
Ted Schillinger
Phone: 917 202 3936
tedschillinger@gmail.com
Other
Deirdre Fenton
ESPN Films
77 West 66th Street, 11th floor New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212 456 4608
deirdre.a.fenton@espn.com
http://espn.com
Print Return
Erin Leyden
ESPN Films
77 West 66th Street 11th floor New York, NY 10023
Phone: 646 547 5844
erin.g.leyden@espn.com