• 17 Blocks
  • 17 Blocks
  • 17 Blocks

17 Blocks

by Davy Rothbart Documentary Competition

Washington D.C., 1999. Nine-year-old Emmanuel “Mannie” Sanford receives a video camera and starts filming his surroundings: community basketball games, visits to his sickly grandfather, playful struggles with older siblings, escapades of his drugged mother. Captured by the innocent eyes of a child who is as cheerful as he is crafty, these everyday images reveal the complexity of a family living within a neglected neighbourhood just 17 blocks from the United States Capitol. In addition to “Mannie,” his sister, brother, and mother are also stepping behind the lens, creating in collaboration with director Davy Rothbart an epic and dramatic long-term documentary that spans two decades of Sanfordian history. 17 BLOCKS is the intimate and emotional odyssey of a family which was neither spared by unforeseeable blows of fate nor by the destructive criminality in a society tainted by poverty.


  • Genre: DOC: Social & Human Interest
  • Country, Year: USA, 2019
  • Runtime: 98 Min
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitles: English, German
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  • Director: Davy Rothbart
  • Cast: Cheryl Sanford, Akil "Smurf" Sanford, Denice Sanford-Durant, Emmanuel Sanford-Durant Jr., Justin Sanford
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  • Screenplay: Jennifer Tiexiera
  • Cinematography: Zachary Shields
  • Editor: Jennifer Tiexiera
  • Music: Nick Urata
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  • Producers: Alex Turtletaub, Michael B. Clark, Marc Turtletaub, Rachel Dengiz, Davy Rothbart
  • Executive Producers: Cheryl Sanford, Jennifer Tiexiera
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  • Production Company: Beachside Films
  • World Sales: Submarine Entertainment
  • www.17blocksfilm.com
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