As announced yesterday, a release date for this compelling documentary feature that Vanessa profiled initially in January, has been officially set for July 13, 2012, both theatrical and VOD, courtesy of Strand Releasing.
As a recap… titled Pelotero, the film is narrated by John Leguizamo, directed by Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin and Jon Paley, and executive produced by Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine; it’s described as a gritty and never before seen look inside the world of Major League Baseball (MLB) training camps in the Dominican Republic.
Miguel Angel and Jean Carlos are two of the top prospects and they are both about to turn 16, which means they can be signed to an MLB farm team and ultimately move up to the majors. BALLPLAYER: PELOTERO filmmakers Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin and Jonathan Paley take you inside this never before seen world for an up close and personal look at the cost of the American dream. Pelotero sheds light on some of the most pressing issues regarding the export of Dominican baseball players to the US: age and identity fraud, exploitation, and the opaque role Major League Baseball plays in determining the fates of young players and their families. However, at heart, the film is a story about two gifted young men with a shared dream, doing their best to navigate a mercenary world with the hopes, fears and burdens of their entire families riding on their success or failure.
It immediately reminds me of Baff Akoto’s 2010 documentary, Football Fables, which did for football (or soccer as it’s know in the USA) and African prospects sort by European pro teams, what Pelotero seems to do for baseball.
I’m also reminded of Anna Boden’s and Ryan Fleck’s acclaimed 2008 feature narrative Sugar, which centered on a Dominican baseball star who is recruited to play in the U.S. minor-leagues.
Pelotero was an official selection of the Hamptons International Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival, and Portland International Film Festival.
A trailer is coming soon, but in the meantime, check out the official poster released exclusively to S&A, below; and underneath that, watch a clip from the film: