Our City Festival '15: "Out of the Basement"

“Out of the Basement” is the indie film that you want to stumble upon at a film festival. Directed by Natalie Avery and Kyle Joseph Centers, the film on the surface is an American Dream, underdog story. In reality, it’s a well constructed story about family bonds and how love can push you to accomplish your dreams or help see others accomplish their own.

We’re introduced to Greg Newby, a DC native and amateur boxer who wants to go pro. He works at his grandfather’s corner store while training. His goal is to use boxing to help himself become financially stable and perhaps financially independent in order to take care of his daughter. As we get to know Greg and see him hard at work, we also learn about his past and how it affects his present.

The key to the film is the relationship between the directors and Greg’s family. It’s obvious that the family trusted the directors, and therefore were honest and open with their lives. Greg’s father talks about his struggle to raise Greg. Greg’s grandmother talks about the fact that someone has always been in his corner, and how she thinks that affects his work ethic. It’s the honest moments in this short film that make it intimate and engaging. The construction of the short doc is smooth, seamless, and welcomes you in to the lives of the tight knit family with pro boxing dreams.

If you’re looking for an entertaining, character driven short that packs a punch than check out “Out of the Basement”. The film plays during the OUR HEART film screening at the Our City Festival this Saturday, June 7th at the Goethe Institut.

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.