THE IRAN JOB is a documentary by filmmakers Till Schauder and Sara Nodjoumi. It follows Kevin Sheppard (182-G-79, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Jacksonville), a basketball player from the Virgin Islands as he begins his one year contract playing for the Iranian Basketball Super League. This is a fantastic movie and right off the bat, I want to encourage anyone, who has the chance, to go see it. Often, documentaries about the Middle East are challenging, non-inviting films that can be a chore to watch. They are heavy, both in emotion and in information. Even the most inspirational can also be major downers due to the nature of the subject matter. The Iran Job is nothing like that at all.
What Schauder and Nodjoumi do so brilliantly is blend two very different types of films together in an impressively balanced way. Since the movie is ostensibly about Kevin and basketball, the central plot is that of a sports film. Kevin's team is brand new to the league. They are the underdogs and thus, we root for them. We see the team develop, we see Kevin grow into his roll as the team captain and we see them work their way up from the lowest standings in the league. Some of the games build to great crescendos as his team takes the lead in the last seconds of a game. Hollywood couldn't plan it better.
But there is another movie here under the surface that focuses on what it's like to live life in Iran. Through Kevin's teammates and friends, we learn much about the culture, politics and struggles of the Iranian people. However, we see this all through our protagonist Kevin's eyes (and Kevin is one hell of a protagonist). Not only is he smart and insightful, but he is tremendously charismatic and funny. I would watch this film again in a heartbeat, just to get to hang out with him for another hour and a half. One of the best sequences is when he decides he needs a Christmas tree and enlists his building supervisor to help him find one. The super speaks little to no English and Kevin speaks little to no Farsi. It just so happens te word "Christmas" sounds a lot like the Farsi word for "raisin." Hilarity ensues.
At the end of the day, this film is both fun and enlightening. While Kevin is amazing, the true heroes of this story are three women that Kevin befriends. They risk everything (in the ultimate sense of the word) to put themselves on camera. They discuss their lives openly and this puts them at real risk, now that the film is out. At the Q and A after the first screening at The Los Angeles Film Festival, the director told us that the trailer made its way to Iran and was immediately branded the American Anti-Iran film. The movie was vilified as were those who cooperated in the making of it.
Schauder flew to Iran and personally showed it to these three women. (The women are at much more risk than the men involved, because of the nature of the government mandated chauvinistic practices of the country). Schauder told them that he would gladly do whatever they wanted him to do, to ensure their safety. He would blur their faces and change their voices if they wanted, or he would even go so far as to recut the movie, completely removing all traces of them. Each one said no. Leave it as it is. This is important and worth the extraordinary risk. I can't tell you how courageous they are or how important a movie like this is.
The Iran Job shows how good the people of Iran are. How passionate and how repressed. The Iranian government might deserve to be part of "The Axis of Evil" but it's people, by and large, surely do not.
This is a tiny film and needs all the help it can get. Check out the website, watch the trailer and then, well, the ball is in your court.
THE IRAN JOB made its world premiere as part of the Documentary Competition at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival
by Alex Koehne, June 26, 2012 2:49 PM
Golden Eagles' Edwin transfers from USM - May 17, 2013
In search of more playing time, Southern Miss guard Deon Edwin(188-G) is expected to transfer from the men's basketball team.Edwin, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound guard from the Virgin Islands, averaged 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8.7 minutes per game as a freshman for the 27-10 Golden Eagles.USM coach Donnie Tyndall said he had talked with Edwin and couldn't guarantee him more minutes on the court in 2013-14 [read more]
In search of more playing time, Southern Miss guard Deon Edwin (188-G) is expected to transfer from the men's basketball team. Edwin, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound guard from the Virgin Islands, averaged 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8.7 minutes per game as a freshman for the 27-10 Golden Eagles. USM coach Donnie Tyndall said he had talked with Edwin and couldn't guarantee him more minutes on the court in 2013-14. Deons minutes were limited this year, and with the guys we have returning with the guys we have sitting out, he just felt like it was in his best interest to go play somewhere else where he can get more minutes, Tyndall said. Hes a great kid, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.
Cincinnati Hughes, Angel Rivera-Cuencas(170-PG) has decided to reclassify back to the class of 2014. He was originally the class of 2014 but after moving to Cincinnati from Puerto Rico he lost a year of eligibility. Rivera will be attending IMG Academy in Tampa , Florida. He helped lead Hughes to its first district title since the 1955-56 season averaging 16 points, 9 assist and 4 rebounds per game this past season [read more]
Cincinnati Hughes, Angel Rivera-Cuencas (170-PG) has decided to reclassify back to the class of 2014. He was originally the class of 2014 but after moving to Cincinnati from Puerto Rico he lost a year of eligibility. Rivera will be attending IMG Academy in Tampa , Florida. He helped lead Hughes to its first district title since the 1955-56 season averaging 16 points, 9 assist and 4 rebounds per game this past season. Angel is a second half athlete and has been training with us for over a year now. I am proud to see all his hard work paying off, this young man has a bright future ahead of him!
SAN ANTONIO-- The NBA today announced that San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (211-F/C-76, college: Wake Forest) was named to the 2012-13 NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Duncan leads all players in NBA history with 14 All-Defensive Team selections over the span of his 16-year career with the Spurs.Duncans 14th All-Defensive Team selection ranks him two of ahead Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett who have each been selected to 12 NBA All-Defensive Teams [read more]
SAN ANTONIO-- The NBA today announced that San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (211-F/C-76, college: Wake Forest) was named to the 2012-13 NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Duncan leads all players in NBA history with 14 All-Defensive Team selections over the span of his 16-year career with the Spurs.
Duncans 14th All-Defensive Team selection ranks him two of ahead Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett who have each been selected to 12 NBA All-Defensive Teams. Also trailing Duncan on the list are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (11) and Scottie Pippen (10). The NBA introduced the All-Defensive Team in 1968-69.
In 2012-13, Duncan averaged 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.65 blocks (third in the NBA) in 30.1 minutes. His 8.1 defensive rebounds per game ranked fifth in the NBA.
Duncans 2.65 blocks per game is his highest average since the 2003-04 season when he averaged 2.68 blocks. It is also the highest average of any NBA player 36-years-or-older since the NBA started keeping track of blocked shots in 1973.
Duncan anchored the Spurs defense that ranked eighth in both opponent field goal percentage (44.2 percent) and opponent points in the paint (40.0 points). The Silver and Black finished the regular season with a 58-24 record and clinched a playoff berth for the 16th consecutive year, the longest active streak in the NBA.
Duncan has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight times in his career (1999-2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008) and to the Second Team on six occasions (1998, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2013).
Comprising this years First Team are guards Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies and Chris Paul of the L.A. Clippers and forwards LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Rounding out the First Team are centers Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls.
Joining Duncan on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team are guards Avery Bradley of the Boston Celtics and Mike Conley of the Grizzlies, forward Paul George of the Indiana Pacers and center Marc Gasol of the Grizzlies.
The voting panel consisted of the NBAs 30 head coaches, who were asked to select NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams by position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. Two points were awarded for a First Team vote and one point was awarded for a Second Team vote.
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