Results tagged ‘ Baseball Film Festival ’

Spotlight on baseball: Hall of Fame gears up for 4th Annual Baseball Film Festival

Light_90.jpgBy Stephen Light

Here at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, summer is our busiest time of year, as families on vacation flock to village of Cooperstown to take advantage of the beautiful weather and baseball history.

But you might argue fall is the perfect time of year to visit Cooperstown – you can take in the crisp autumn air and the beautiful tree foliage while the baseball seasons winds toward its exciting conclusion.

9-14-09-Light_Movies.jpgFall also brings to the National Baseball Hall of Fame our annual Baseball Film Festival, held this year on the final weekend of the regular season – Oct. 2-4. If you ever doubted that baseball is woven into the cultural identity of America – not to mention dozens of other countries – then the Baseball Film Festival is an event that will open your eyes.

This year’s lineup will have you following the footsteps of former big league pitcher Luis Tiant as he returns to the streets of Havana after 46 years of exile, and the footsteps of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. as he brings America’s pastime to China as an official ambassador. It will unravel the mysterious origins of umpire signs and signals, and reveal the complex and unusual love affair between the city of Chicago and the Cubs. You can root for the WBL Sparks, the first all-girls baseball team to compete in a boys’ national tournament, and for a man struggling to make a baseball league in Israel a reality.

These are just a few of the many plot lines that will run throughout our fourth annual Baseball Film Festival as 13 films vie for three awards: The Award for Best Film, The Award for Baseball Excellence, and the Award for Excellence in Filmmaking.

Tickets for each screening are free, but must be reserved in advance. Members can reserve their tickets immediately, and any remaining seats will made available to the general public beginning Monday, Sept. 28, by calling the Membership Department at 607-547-0397 or by visiting the membership desk in the Museum.

The awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 3 p.m. in the Grandstand Theater and is open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For a complete schedule, please click here.

Stephen Light is manager of museum programs at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Here are a few the trailers for some of the films at this year’s festival:

The Lost Son of Havana

Signs of the Time

Girls of Summer

We Believe

The Farm Team

Holy Land Hardball

Road to the Big Leagues

Ghost Player

Baseball Film Festival Returns this October

Light_90.jpgBy Stephen Light

“Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die; follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.”

The Babe gave this advice to young Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, who was trying to help his friend Scotty Smalls out of a big pickle after losing his step father’s autographed Ruth ball. The Sandlot easily ranks among my top baseball movies of all time, but what are yours?

7-9-09-Light_FilmFestival.jpgAs manager of museum programs here at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, I have some pretty unique opportunities from time to time. But one of my favorite events is our annual Baseball Film Festival, held each fall. The action and suspense of the game have always translated well on the big screen. Think of the list: Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, The Natural, Major League, Pride of the Yankees, Rookie of the Year and I could keep going.

The diversity of entries at our annual film festival makes this event so unique. Take, for example, the 2008 Film Festival: The Best Film Award went to Dreaming in Blue (Fuera de Liga), a documentary on the Cuban team Industriales; The Award for Baseball Excellence went to a film focused on the game’s English origins entitled Base Ball Discovered; and the Award for Filmmaking Excellence went to a humorous short film entitled Gandhi at the Bat, a fictitious account of Gandhi’s one and only plate appearance at Yankee Stadium.

7-9-09-Light_Awards.jpgIn addition to these excellent films, we screened a film about Dummy Hoy, the first successful deaf major leaguer, as well as parts of a miniseries about the New England Collegiate Baseball League. We even had a documentary called Cobb Field: A Day at the Ballpark, which brought to life a full day at the Billings Mustangs old ballpark.

This year’s festival will take place October 2-4, and we recently started accepting submissions. Who knows what great movies are in store?

To be considered for entry into the festival, films must have been released in the last five years and baseball must be a primary or secondary theme of the film. Films may be of any length and genre. If you have a film that meets these criteria, or you know of someone who does, all you need to do to submit your film for consideration is mail two copies to the following address (along with any promotional materials you may have):

Manager of Museum Programs
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326

If, like me, you just enjoy watching baseball films, be sure to mark down October 2-4 on your calendar. Tickets to the screenings of each film are free (with the price of Museum admission), and with the fall colors and crisp air, it’s a great time to be in Cooperstown.

Check out these trailers from last year’s films:
Base Ball Discovered
Cobb Field: A Minor League Day at the Ballpark
Dummy Hoy: A Deaf Hero
Eye on the Dream
Gandhi at the Bat
Mathematically Alive: A Story of Fandom

Stephen Light is manager of museum programs at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.



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