DONATE BASEBALL EQUIPMENT
To support the idea behind Havana Curveball, REACT to FILM (RtF) & JCC will be taking donations of gently used and new baseball equipment at the screening to give to Summit Academy Charter School in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Summit Academy is part of the REACT to FILM family and teaches the RtF High School Media Literacy and Civic Engagement Course 5 days a week.
React to film invites you to a SPECIAL screening of HAVANA CURVEBALL
a film by Marcia Jarmel & Ken Schneider
Thirteen-year-old Mica takes to heart his rabbi's dictate to help "heal the world" and launches a grand plan to send baseball equipment to Cuba—a country with a mysterious pull for him. He only knows that Cubans have few resources, love baseball, and gave his grandfather refuge during the Holocaust. But his filmmaker parents know a curveball is coming.
At age seven Grandpa Herb fled Europe with his mother, when his own father was sent to Auschwitz. Intending to join relatives in New York, they were unexpectedly delayed in Cuba when the U.S. sealed its borders after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Luckily, theirs was not the fate of the infamous ship, the St. Louis, which was sent back to Nazi Europe. Instead, Cuba offered refuge, and Herb spent the early 1940s in Havana, while back in Vienna, his father, extended family and childhood friends were killed. Late in 1943, Herb and his mother were granted visas and found their way to New York.
Nearly 70 years later, Mica wants to repay the debt. In the wake of years of baseball diplomacy between the U.S. and Cuba, he enthusiastically collects bats, mitts and balls, never considering that his good intentions might not be enough to reach his goal.
After two years, he finally boards a plane to Havana with his family, 200 pounds of baseball gear, and all the hopes, expectations, and worries of family, friends, and history in tow. Imagining he is finally in the home stretch, he is transformed by his trip—playing baseball with local kids, visiting Havana’s tiny Jewish community, and his grandpa’s old home, delivering his donations to a local church—and then he has an experience that shifts his lens, making him ask: “Does what I do matter?"
Marcia Jarmel | Producer/Director
founded PatchWorks with Ken Schneider in 1994. Marcia’s other
films include Collateral Damage, a mother’s lament about the human costs of war that screened worldwide in theatres, museums, festivals and schools as part of
Underground Zero: Filmmakers Respond to 9/11. Return of Sarah’s Daughters
examines the allure of Orthodox Judaism to secular young women. The hour-long
documentary won a CINE Golden Eagle, National Educational Media Network Gold
Apple, and 1st Place in the Jewish Video Competition. It screened on international
public television, and at the American Cinematheque, International Documentary Film Festival, Women in the Director’s Chair, Cinequest and numerous other film festivals. Her first film, The F Word: A short video about Feminism uses whimsical animation and interviews to foster discussion on this so-called contentious topic. Still in distribution after 20 years,The F Word screened on KQED’s Living Room Festival, AFI’s VideoFest, and the Judy Chicago film series at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Marcia’s additional credits include producing and directing films for the San Francisco World Music Festival, co-editing the Academy-award nominee, For Better or For Worse, and assistant producing the Academy Award nominees, Berkeley in the Sixties and Freedom on My Mind.
Ken Schneider | Producer/Director
is producer, editor, and sound recordist for PatchWorks Films. He is
also an accomplished freelance editor whose credits include award-winning
documentaries on a broad range of subjects, from art and literature to war and peace, immigration, disability and social justice. Ken co-edited the feature documentary Regret To Inform, winner of the Peabody Award, Indie Spirit Award and Sundance Film Festival Directing award, as well as the IDA Award for most distinctive use of archival footage. Regret also was nominated for an Academy Award and a National Emmy. He recently co-produced and edited, Soft Vengeance, which premiered at the Full Frame Festival in the U.S. and was featured at the Ford Foundation’s celebration of South Africa’s 20th anniversary of transitioning to democracy early in 2014.