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The Dominican Film Showcase opens its program in collaboration with the Cinema Studies Program at City College, New York

December 6, 2012

New York, 12/06/2012

The Dominican Film Show Case program launched on Thursday, December 6 in New York with the documentary Ball Player: Pelotero, a film by Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin and Jon Paley. The screening is the first of a series of film events to take place in collaboration with the Cinema Studies Program, City College of New York.

Pelotero follows the true story of two top baseball prospects in the Dominican Republic face fierce competition and corruption as they chase their big league dreams. The film stirred opinions and points of view among an engaged audience, who were welcomed to the proceedings at CUNY’s Shepard Hall by New York director of GFDD, Yamile Eusebio and the Director of the Cinema Studies Program at CUNY, Professor Jerry Carlson.  Following the film, the audience was invited to participate in an animated exchange with Ross Finkel and Trevor Martin in a thought-provoking Q&A session.

The reality and intensity of struggles faced by young baseball prospects while pursuing their Major League dreams and the deep impact of their immense ups and downs to their families and communities are beautifully depicted in Pelotero, with the ever so subtle allusion to the local ambiguities of the baseball trade.

The scouting and recruitment of budding stars involved in this oftentimes ruthless multi-million dollar industry, has all the elements of a great drama. Also skillfully presented in this on-point documentary, is an interesting cultural and social reference to the Dominican identity, tightly woven in its individual and group psyche.

The unexpected adventures by Dominicans in baseball — precipitated by Juan Marichal and the Alou brothers back in the 50s with their breakthrough in the US Major League Baseball as the first non-white players — has multiplied to the point where 20% of the MLB players are Dominican.  This is a tremendous achievement for a small nation and as their success rate continues to soar, so does the world’s fascination – both good and bad– with Dominican ball players.

Dominican Film Showcase presents an opportunity to discuss Dominican culture, music, and traditions, as they are quickly becoming household references in the US and other countries where Dominican population is present. The wealth of subjects and characters populating the Dominican landscape are great sources of stories and an increasing number of foreign and Dominican filmmakers are beginning to identify this fertile ground. Global Foundation for Democracy and Development aims to showcase a sample of the best films produced recently in the Dominican Republic, by Dominican filmmakers, about Dominican topics.
The next Dominican Film Showcase with CUNY is slated for February 2013.

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