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by Karen Pecota

Josh Kahn, United States 2022

Filmmaker Josh Kahn writes and directs his latest short film DEVONTE for a directorial debut at the infamous Slamdance Film Festival 2022 to screen on their Episodic platform. This is Kahn's pilot episode for a series made for television, a fresh and honest take on the world of professional sports. His first subject is Devonte Mitchell played by theater actor Julian Parker.

Devonte Mitchell, controversial quarterback superstar is presented with a $100+ million contract to play for his hometown Chicago professional football team. Kahn follows Devonte in the first ten hours, being in the city contemplating the gravity of hometown expectations and the demons of his past that continue to haunt him. Kahn, his film team, and Parker are all based in Chicago giving extra credence to the weight of the short film. It's personal!

Kahn says, "The sports world has always been somewhat glossed over and sort of kept in a specific lane when it comes to television and film." Kahn hopes to go beyond the confines of these barriers to show a different side of professional athletes and their stories kept mostly for the sports world insiders. Kahn feels like he can make a solid representation using his first-hand experience having worked for the Chicago Bulls internal production department for seven years. Kahn and his team helped to launch the BullsTV. Kahn's workload with the Bulls allowed him to advance with the Springhill Company where he spent several years making athlete focused documentary films, thereafter, launching his own company MYLES.

Kahn is a big believer that artists have the opportunity to draw from what they know. He adds, "I felt that there was something authentic to say about the sports world, and I was hungry to challenge myself to direct something scripted with the limited resources I had available." Continuing, "This pilot was not possible without all the talented artists that came together to make this vision come alive, i.e., my committed filming team and the theater actors. Each of us sacrificed so much to make this film."

DEVONTE is a true love story to the athletes who devote their lives, their passions, and sacrifice their bodies for our sports entertainment. It's truly amazing that this pilot, for an episodic series, was made for under $5,000.