Passing the Baton: The Joe Sims Milwaukee Striders Story
Past Striders include famous alums like NFL running backs Michael Bennet and Brian Calhoun, professional track star Demi Omole, Olympic sprinter Esther Jones, and Robert Hackett – an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. While not all Striders go on to fame, most do excel in school, in their community and many alum return to give back to an organization that played such an s an important role in the lives and their community. In a city where a majority of public students do not graduate from high school, ninety percent of Striders runners graduate high school and attend college, with many of them earning partial or full athletic scholarships. The lessons these kids learn on the track carry over into their homes, their classrooms and their community.
Over the course of the 2009 calendar year, a crew of 12 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee undergraduate film students along with their instructor documented the Striders. Their cameras recorded a year of transition starting with the death of Joe Sims and ascending to the Junior National Olympics in Des Moines, Iowa. As the films looks back at Joe Sims’ legacy, it follows the new generation of Striders runners, coaches, and families. Assembled from over 250 hours off footage shot by first-time filmmakers Passing the Baton comes together to present a unique look into the lives of generous souls dedicated to improving the lives of youth in his community through hard work and athleticism.
Passing the Baton was shot and edited in collaboration with students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and doc|UWM a documentary media center in UWM’s Peck School of the Arts – Film Department. doc|UWM bridges academics with real world experience and gives students the unique opportunity to work on professional productions before graduating. Students and affiliated faculty collaborate on short form videos that raise awareness about a variety of contemporary political and social issues as well as feature-length documentaries for public television broadcast. Funding for the project was provided by The Helen Bader Foundation.
Director: Ryan Sarnowski
Executive Producer: Jenny Plevin
Producer: Ryan Sarnowski
Editors: Aaron Zakowski, Ryan Sarnowski
Camera and Sound: Chloe Arbiture, Sean Bannier, Alex Block, Jacob Feiring, Dominitric Griffin, Quinn Hester, Gavin Jackson, Sebastian Juarez, William Olsen, Joseph Steigerwald, Alex Youngen, Aaron Zakowski