Directed by: Mirra Bank
India, 2012, Documentary, 82 Minutes, English and Manipuri with Subtitles
The movie explores the power of baseball for people in a troubled, distant place. The small, once princely state of Manipur in embattled northeast India, counters gun violence, poverty, corruption, drug traffic, and HIV/AIDS with its surprising passion for our National Pastime. Manipur, which shares a porous border with Burma, joined the Indian Union under pressure in 1949, triggering a corrosive separatist conflict that continues to this day. For decades baseball has delivered release from daily struggles and a dream for healing this wounded society, as well as a way to connect to the wider world. This dream moves toward reality when First Pitch, a small group of baseball-loving New Yorkers, and two Major League Baseball Envoy coaches, join Manipuri men, women and children to “Play Ball.”
Director’s Bio: Mirra Bank directs film and theater. Her previous feature documentary, "Last Dance", was short-listed for an Academy Award. Her innovative nonfiction feature, "Nobody's Girls", was a PBS primetime special; and her groundbreaking indie feature enormous changes premiered at Sundance, followed by a critically praised theatrical release. Bank has been honored with awards and production support from, among others: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, NY State Council on the Arts, NY Foundation for the Arts, American Film Institute. Her films have premiered at festivals worldwide, including Edinburgh, NY Film Festival, Chicago, Seattle, Hawaii, AFI, Silverdocs, Final Frame, London, and Palm Springs.