For inner city youth, the opportunities for solid extracurriculars can be difficult to obtain, especially if support for them are cut by the city. Such is the background behind Basement Boys, a documentary short film on the struggles behind youth boxing in the Bronx.
Filmmaker Tyler Haft explores this scenario, highlighting real-life aspiring boxer Isaiah Bland as he tours his hardships of life alongside his growing passion for boxing. The film delves into his tough upbringing, with two brothers and a father all incarcerated and a goal to please his friends and family around him. The documentary also interviews his mentor, Coach Pablo, who describes exactly the trouble the boxing program has undergone, since its support was cut from the Police Athletic League back in 2009. The film continues Isaiah’s journey in the beginning of his passion, as well as a year later as he looks back on his decisions.
While boxing can be seen as a program to keep children out of trouble in NYC, the opposite came across to the PAL. The film narrates the context behind its elimination; “the rumor was that they said boxing was turning to where gang members were going and there were shootings – I never heard of none of that. … When they closed PAL, it’s like, where are these kids gonna go? They always had somewhere to go…”
The video is presented by Bryght Young Things, an agency that represents the upcoming talent within multiple aspects of media, advertising, production, and more across multiple mediums and platforms. Basement Boys is a film in a continuing series of up-and-coming filmmakers’ work which covers a diverse selection of categories, areas, passions and more.
Watch Basement Boys above in its entirety and for more creative inspiration, read our in-depth interview with prolific producer Knxwledge.