Northern Ballers

All Andy and Ben want to do is play basketball. When they join the under 16s league, the boys take on opponents from around Yorkshire, experiencing the challenges of growing up in Leeds.

Northern Ballers follows the two boys as they compete on the new team, Leeds LDM, in division 3 of the Yorkshire regional league. Spurred on by the passionate Coach Norman will the two boys achieve their dreams and make a success of basketball?

  • Rhys Aaron Lewis
  • Rhys Aaron Lewis
  • Rebecca Rebecca Mark-Lawson
    Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché, Irene's Ghost
  • Daria Nitsche
    Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
  • Andy Toukam
    Key Cast
  • Benjamin Walker
    Key Cast
  • Norman Francis
    Key Cast
  • Vera Simmonds
  • Sam McGrail
  • Raoul Brand
    Sound Designer
  • Rick Blything
    Dialogue and Sound Effects Editor
  • Andy Lee
  • Tyke Films
    Production Company
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Sport, Community, BAME
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 39 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 11, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Sheffield Short Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    May 17, 2021
    Winner: Best Documentary
  • Aesthetica Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 3, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Bolton International Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 19, 2020
    Guest Programme
  • Denton Black Film Festival
    Denton, Texas
    United States
    January 26, 2022
    Official Selection
  • SOUL Fest
    United Kingdom
    September 17, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Venice Shorts
    Venice, California
    United States
    October 5, 2021
Director Biography - Rhys Aaron Lewis

Rhys Aaron Lewis is a filmmaker from East London. He graduated with a Masters from the Granada Centre of Visual Anthropology, University of Manchester in 2017. Since then he has gone on to produce a number of short documentaries on issues ranging from immigration, identity, gentrification and religion. In 2019 he was awarded a grant by BFI Doc Society under their "Made of Truth" scheme for the film “Northern Ballers. That same year he was made a One World Media Fellow which supports journalism in the global south.

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Director Statement

According to Sport England, basketball is one of the most popular sports for teenagers, however those who hope to pursue the sport to an elite level will struggle to find the facilities to do so in the UK.
I decided to make this film after seeing the work the youth organisation Let’s Do More were doing in Leeds to provide opportunities for kids who hope to pursue basketball, many of them from deprived backgrounds.
After spending one year with Ben, Andy and the under 16s team I can see that their skill and passion for the sport deserve to be noted.