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ONE SIMPLE SMALL STEP YOU CAN TAKE THAT WILL REALLY HELP THE FILM GET MADE IS TO REPOST THIS LINK.
We are making this movie completely on our own, meaning we have no studio with deep pockets and we maintain creative control and final cut.
If you've been following our work, you know we are a volunteer cast and crew working our butts off. We never take a moment for granted and are thankful for every opportunity and awesome thing that has happened to bring the film to it's current post-production phase.
Most importantly, we never take YOU for granted. We know we wouldn't be able to do what we love so much here in Hollywood if you weren't here to support us. So we are humbly asking for your support in making this movie.
We're hoping we can raise enough money to finish and promote our 100% Independent movie about Roberto Clemente! Of course, screenings would soon follow :)
The reward packages we came up with are pretty cool. There's personal Clemente movie memorabilia from us, phone calls from the Director, signed stuff, even trips to Universal Studios!
We have 90 days to meet our goal, so please help us out and tell your friends! If we succeed, we will finish the film and release it in 2013. So far, we've shot & edited footage we're really proud of, and we can't wait to share the movie with you.
Thank you for your support. And please remember to repost this link & share it with your Facebook friends.
Richard Rossi and the Clemente Company
P.S. Scroll below to read more info on our film & find answers to Frequently Asked Questions. To meet our film's two leads by watching video footage from our film, click the "Gallery" tab above. Jamie Nieto plays Roberto and Marilinda Rivera plays Vera. You can watch additional videos, (including a music video, the winning audition that secured the 2 lead roles, & an interview with Jamie Nieto about playing Roberto), simply click the "Gallery" tab at the top right, then click the thumbnail photos to select and watch more videos.
‘Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories ’ blends baseball with a redemptive story of sacrifice. In the words of the Gospel of John, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…” We hope and pray to go over our goal many times over because more money means more quality, more screenings in more cities, and more schools we can visit with the film to inspire disadvantaged children with the story of a great hero and humanitarian. Two-time Olympian high-jumper Jamie Nieto plays Roberto Clemente, and Project Runway Winner Marilinda Rivera, (an actress-model from Clemente's hometown), plays Vera. The film is a love story showing Clemente's love for his family, his team, his fans, and for the disadvantaged poor whom he died helping.
$20,000 is our bare-bones bottom goal, a shoestring budget to finish the film which is currently in post-production, and then we need money to show it worldwide at film festivals, theaters, and schools. In your tax deductible giving, we ask you to help make a difference for this good cause about a good man by aiming far beyond $20,000 so we finish and distribute a film worthy of this story. We want to honor Roberto with the best movie possible. Thanks for the support to reach $20,000 and beyond. We need as many tax-deductible donations as possible. We have a lot of expenses such as making DVDs, film festival submission fees, post-production sound design and color correction, theater rentals, etc... We have a volunteer cast and crew and we are working hard. Thank you everyone for being an integral part in getting "Baseball's Last Hero" funded and finished.
On New Year’s Eve 1972, following eighteen magnificent seasons in the major leagues, Roberto Clemente died a hero’s death, killed in a plane crash as he attempted to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake.
Academy Award-considered filmmaker Richard Rossi grew up in Pittsburgh, watching the Great Roberto play for the Pirates. Rossi will bring his childhood baseball hero brilliantly back to life in ‘Baseball’s Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories’, an unauthorized biographical movie based on public domain records that is destined to become a modern classic.
As he did in his last critically-acclaimed biographical film ‘Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple McPherson Story,’ Rossi will use his narrative sweep, compelling storytelling, and meticulous detail to capture the myth and the real man.
Anyone who saw Clemente, as he played with a beautiful fury, will never forget him. He was a work of art in a game too often defined by statistics. During his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he won four batting titles and led his team to championships in 1960 and 1971, getting a hit in all fourteen World Series games in which he played. His career ended with three thousand hits, the magical three-thousandth coming in his final at-bat. Roberto and the immortal Lou Gehrig are the only players to have the five-year waiting period waived so they could be enshrined in the Hall of Fame immediately after their deaths.
His motto was that if you had a chance to help others and fail to do so, you are wasting your time on this earth. To Clemente, wealth and fame were created to be resources of compassion to those less fortunate. His moral global responsibility extended beyond the playing field. Rossi will retrace Clemente’s final days, from the earthquake to the accident, the mission of mercy that exemplified his commitment to sacrifice.
Roberto Clemente is a hero to the world, particularly Latin Americans and the people of his native Puerto Rico, as he was the greatest Latino player in the major leagues, the Jackie Robinson of the Spanish-speaking world. In the world of baseball cards and memorabilia, demand for anything Clemente is far greater than Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Juan Marichal, or any other black or Latin players.
At a time when athletes are in the headlines for greed and steroid abuse, our movie is at once a call for modern day heroes who will dedicate themselves to service and an introspective look at ourselves. The film will be shown in schools to inspire disadvantaged youth who still are interested in Clemente as a hero and role model.
‘Baseball’s Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories’ features a redemptive story that will appeal to everyone, especially fans of sports, fans of biographical films, and Spanish-speaking and English-speaking admirers of Roberto Clemente’s moral example of mercy, spirituality and Christ-like sacrifice.
‘Baseball’s Last Hero’ will live long in the hearts and minds of people around the world and remain a centerpiece of redemption for ages to come. The film is an opportunity to make a difference with your donations, especially for those who love sports, to give funds and have fun doing it. Investors follow in the spirit of Clemente himself by investing in something greater than themselves to make a difference in the world.
We've shot the film which is the lion's share of the battle, but we need funds to keep flowing so the film can keep going and we can finish editing and distributing this worthy project. We hope to exceed our fundraising goal which is the minimum amount we need We pray you will contribute so we have above and beyond a shoestring budget and can finish the film from a place of abundance. The more we raise, the bigger the budget to finish the film and the bigger the release.
We're praying we can quickly get past the $20k goal. The more money, the more cities we can show the film, and the better the film's post production. We want to go exceedingly beyond all we could ask or think. We're so grateful for your support! Help us hit a home run by sharing this with your sphere of influence to follow your generous example. If you can pledge a little more than you initially planned, we would be most grateful, even if it's just a few dollars more it keeps up the momentum. A friend of ours pointed to a verse in the Bible recently that he said describes our campaign. The verse says, "And there was a beggar who sat at the gate..." Yes, we are begging for more money for a film that will truly make a difference. We want to go way beyond the goal and finish the film as best we can. We pray a blessing over each and every generous backer.
When will the movie be finished?
Our goal is to finish the film and host screenings and enter film festivals this year, 2013, to honor and coincide with the 40th anniversary of Roberto Clemente's heroic and humanitarian death on New Year's. The more you give, the faster we finish.
What does the term "unauthorized biography" mean in reference to this film and Mr. Rossi's prior films?
When a famous person reaches such a level of celebrity that there are many public facts about them in the public domain, an artist can legally create art about them based on public domain records, as we are doing with this film and as Richard Rossi did in two prior films and a stage play he wrote and directed about female evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Although Mr. Rossi had a couple cordial conversations with Roberto Clemente's son sharing his love for Roberto and his vision for the movie, the film is not officially authorized by the Clemente family or any baseball entity. The film is made from a heart of love by Richard Rossi and his cast and crew who are all fans of Roberto and making the movie as a homage to him.
What is the significance of the Biblical verse that is the theme of the film?
The theme of the film is a verse from the Gospel of John where Christ said "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Robert died in a humanitarian mission of mercy to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Writer-director Richard Rossi worked as a summer missionary where he learned from a Nicaraguan missionary the significance of this verse to Roberto in his personal spiritual life. Roberto, like Jesus, died giving. How can an average person follow Roberto's example? After all, you can only die once for somebody else and most of us won't do something that heroic. How can we lay down our lives? The answer is simple. Our lives are made up of years, and months, and days, and hours, and minutes. We can lay down a day here or fifteen minutes there. We can open ourselves to a meaningful chance every day to lay down a little time for someone who needs help, or just wants a friend to listen to them. Backers of this film follow in Roberto's example by taking time to pledge and make a difference. The Beatles and the New Testament had it right. Love is all we need and love never fails. The vision of this project is to spread the message of sacrifical love. It is our hope the film can inspire others to reach higher and give more of themselves. We're rounding third, and almost home with this project and if more people step up to the plate, we won't have to kiss it goodbye.
Are donations tax-deductible?
Yes. Richard Rossi is president of Eternal Grace, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is producing the film.
If you need info from me to send me my reward, how do you get my address?
Once you've donated, Indiegogo will keep records so you will eventually receive a survey by e-mail to get your pertinent information such as address, t-shirt size, etc...to receive your reward.
How will your film be different from other films about Roberto Clemente?
The other films about Roberto were documentaries lacking any dramatic re-enactment. Ours will be the first narrative docu-drama feature film with actors telling the story to enhance the existing public domain documentary material, which is long overdue. He died giving. We want to honor him and pay homage to him with an artistic and beautiful dramatic film.
What will the movie focus on, his baseball life, personal life, or something else?
The film will showcase how he was the greatest right fielder ever, with a cannon arm and a grace that has not been seen before or since. We will also focus on the great love story between Roberto and his family and fans. The film will reveal information about Clemente not shown in any other film.
Why will baseball fans want to watch?
Today unfortunately, athletes are often in the headlines because of greed and steroids. Roberto exemplified the magic of what makes a truly great baseball player, a passion for the game. He wasn't in the game for money, but for love. He played his whole career for the Pittsburgh Pirates when he could have made more money and had more media attention by playing for New York of Los Angeles. He had a loyalty to the game and his team and the baseball fans that is rare today.
Why will non-baseball fans want to watch?
Even people who are not fans of baseball will relate to the universal theme of true soulmate love and sacrifice. The motif of the movie is a verse from the Bible that says, 'Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends.' The love story between Roberto and Vera that ends with tragedy is a classic love story like Romeo and Juliet or the 1970 film 'Love Story' with Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw.
Director Richard Rossi, this question is for you. Are you a Clemente fan, a baseball fan or both?
I think I'm the biggest Clemente fan on the planet, my home has Clemente memorabilia accumulating all the time. I love baseball because it connects to something really emotional, a seamless chord to memories of playing catch with my late father, to childhood summer days of rounding up neighborhood kids to play sandlot ball, to playing hookie from school and hanging with the Pirates outside the players locker room entrance.
Will the release be a limited small budget release or a nationwide opening in theaters?
That's for you to determine with your giving to this campaign. We want a big nationwide opening. We're currently raising finishing funds here hoping and praying we raise enough so far beyond our goal to do a big opening.