Filmmaker Steve James
Steve James’ (Hampton, Virginia, 1954) work often deals with people on the margins of American society, trying to realise their dreams in the face of an often intractable reality. His style is characterised by his great social and personal commitment to his characters, whom he often follows for long periods of time.
James broke through in 1994 with the critically acclaimed Hoop Dreams, his first serious long documentary (after the commissioned anti-drugs film Stop Substance Abuse), which follows two young talented basketball players over a period of several years. The more personal Stevie, about a troubled young boy to whom James had been an 'Advocate Big Brother' as a volunteer, won the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary in 2002. James gave a master class at IDFA in 2008 and in 2011 compiled the Top 10; in that year, IDFA also showed a retrospective of his work. In addition to his documentaries, James also directed a feature fiction film and several TV movies.