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Meg Pokrass' Fundraiser:

"From Ghost Town To Havana" by Eugene Corr

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BENEFITING:

EVENT DATE: Apr 06, 2011

Meg Pokrass

THE STORY:

Our post-production documentary "From Ghost Town to Havana" has just been awarded two grants: from California Council for the Humanities and the East Bay Community Foundation!  E-mail megpokrass@gmail now and become an important, early part of the film's family of artists, writers, activists, smart thinkers, and good humans...

Since the summer of 2007, filmmaker Eugene Corr has followed the lives of Afro Cuban boys growing up in Centro Habana, Cuba playing baseball for Coach Nicolas Reyes, and African-American boys growing up in a neighborhood in West Oakland called “Ghost Town,” playing for Coach Roscoe Bryant. A portrait of the coaches and the boys emerges, along with a strong sense of their neighborhoods, families, schools and cultures. We witness the enormous obstacles the Ghost Town boys face in their lives yet the story of Roscoe and his players is positive, even inspiring. The Centro Habana boys and their Afro-Cuban coach, Nicolas, live in material poverty yet their daily lives are surprisingly more carefree, with safer streets, far less racial prejudice and segregation, better schools, stronger family and community ties, plus more organized sports opportunities.

Life for the boys' parents isn't so carefree. In a struggling, bureaucratized economy, sometimes it seems as if the biggest mistake a child in Cuba can make is to grow up. From the beginning Coach Roscoe and Coach Nicolas - introduced on video - wanted to meet and play each other. Getting passports and legal permission to travel to Cuba took almost two years but on May 4, 2010 Oakland Coach Roscoe Bryant and nine young African-American players, ages 10-15, flew from Oakland to Havana, Cuba, to play Coach Nicolas’ Centro Habana team. For the next week, the boys and coaches ate, danced, sang, swam, argued, teased, and played baseball together. Wary, street-hardened Ghost Town boys opened up and warmed to the fun-loving friendship of their Afro-Cuban hosts. No sirens, no shootings! Pretty girls! Baseball! Fun! On Day 5 of a beautiful week of baseball and friendship, Coach Roscoe received a fateful phone call from Ghost Town: the stepfather of one of his players, Chris, 13, had been murdered. Coach Roscoe, Chris and the team again face the challenge of life in West Oakland: how to embrace hope and life in the face of death.

Filmmaker Eugene Corr wrote and directed the acclaimed feature film "Des...ert Bloom" (Jon Voight, Jo Beth Williams, Annabeth Gish, Ellen Barkin) which was a Selection Officelle, Cannes Film Festival and "Waldo Salt, A Screenwriter's Journey" for which he received an academy award-nominaton.

E-mail me at megpokrass@gmail.com to become part of our growing family of support - to get regular updates, and find you how you (specifally) can help. I am associate producer working directly with Eugene Corr. Thank you.

 

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