Three features and two docs are among this week’s new specialty releases hitting theaters against the summer tentpoles. Sundance doc The Imposter may prove somewhat controversial given the con-man who figures at the center of the story — and who proved to be the source of heavy anxiety in making the film. Ballplayer: Pelotero may move beyond hard-core baseball fans about two people pursuing the American dream. On the narrative side, Red Lights director Rodrigo Cortés tells Deadline about a rule he broke while writing the screenplay for the story he also directed. Easy Money distributor The Weinstein Company hopes to tap into the success of director Daniel Espinosa’s previous box office smash, and Sundance Selects’ Trishna heads into theaters after a hefty festival run for the Michael Winterbottom-directed feature.
Directors: Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, Jonathan Paley
Subjects: Jean Carlos Batista, Miguel Angel Sano, John Leguizamo (Narrator)
Distributor: Strand Releasing
Executive producers Andrew Muscato and Bobby Valentine set up Makuhari Media in 2010 to make sports documentaries and thought baseball would make a good start. The pair saw footage from what would become Ballplayer: Pelotero and decided to take on the project. “What drives me is that we want to tell stories set in the world of sports but have a general appeal to an audience,” Muscato told Deadline. “These people in Pelotero tell a story about people who want to fulfill their dreams.” The project also attracted veteran doc editor Mary Manhardt (Racing Dreams, The Canal Street Madam), which also was a boon to the project about two top baseball players from the Dominican Republic who face fierce competition and corruption as they chase their dreams. “She can take a niche subject and make it palatable to audiences,” noted Muscato. “Getting her made it a selling point for us to be part of the film.” (more…)