Synopsis by Josh Ralske
After the critical success of Street Fight, which documented upstart Cory Booker's hard-fought effort to unseat embattled Newark mayor Sharpe James, filmmaker Marshall Curry switches gears with Racing Dreams, a look at three adolescents who race in the World Karting Association. With racers driving karts that reach up to 70 mph, the World Karting Association has come to be seen as a sort of unofficial minor leagues for NASCAR, and Annabeth Barnes, Josh Hobson, and Brandon Warren -- all between 11 and 13 years old, are promising young stars of the circuit. Curry's film explores the dynamics of kart racing, and takes an intimate look at all three kids and the individual challenges they face. Hobson, who idolizes Jeff Gordon, is the slickest of the three. He does well in school, and practices his interview skills along with his driving. The brash Warren struggles to control his temper, which has gotten him into trouble on the track, while Barnes finds herself missing out on the ordinary pleasures of childhood, and wonders whether or not she's ready to commit her life to racing. Curry also shows how economic and gender issues impact the kids' ability to compete in the expensive sport. While Warren comes from a disadvantaged background and depends on finding a sponsor to be able to fulfill his dreams, Barnes is fortunate enough to be a top female competitor at a time when NASCAR is actively trying to promote diversity in its ranks. Racing Dreams had its world premiere at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won Best Documentary Feature, and placed second for the Audience Award.
champion, dreams-of-success, go-cart, racing