Berkeley Documentarian Seeks Wider Audience for Ghost Town
Eugene Corr plans a general release of his cross-cultural youth baseball film to coincide with the spring opening of baseball season.
(page 2 of 2)
On May 10, 2010, they boarded a flight to Florida and then on to Havana. The group included Corr, a film crew of four, Bryant, nine kids from the Royals including Bryant’s own son, and two of the mothers as chaperones. During five days of playing against Reyes’ Havana team, a bond between the kids developed. Meanwhile, it was all captured on camera. According to Bryant, when the kids returned on May 17, a change had come over them.
“They had learned a few things,” Bryant said. “Humility for one, and what real poverty is, such as not having shoes, or not being able to drink tap water, things they take for granted at home. My own son told me he would never again ask for Air Jordan shoes. Before we went to Cuba, when the team was starting out, they were 0 and 38 in terms of win/losses. But we learned a few things about how to play the game of baseball from Reyes, who really was a mentor to us all. Once back home, the Royals turned things around and won the next 48 games to 0.”
Postproduction involved a lengthy editing of about 200 hours of film over 2? years. Ghost Town to Havana turned out to be a remarkable documentary. Its universal theme hits the ball out of the park, delivering a dramatic and heartwarming story of these inner-city kids from West Oakland at the crossroads of their young lives. As a postscript, most of them have gone on to greater accomplishments, their lives taking on new meaning.
“Far as I’m concerned,” Bryant said, “Eugene Corr has pulled off a miracle.”
The film premiered as a special one-night showing Oct. 27, 2015, free, at the Grand Lake Theatre to a packed house. When the last frame faded, there was a spontaneous and thunderous standing ovation as tears ran down many a cheek.
Corr plans a general release of the film in April to coincide with the beginning of baseball season and hopes for wide distribution nationally, maybe even internationally, and hopefully, in Cuba on national TV. www.GhostTownToHavana.com.
There will be a screening of Ghost Town to Havana at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley on Sat. April 2, at 6 pm. The screening is free, but tickets are required. Go to gtthuucb2.eventbrite.com to get tickets. The church is located at 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington, CA 94709.