THE ONLY REAL GAME is a nonfiction feature that unfolds in two worlds: America, where the Great American Game - despite scandals - inspires dreamers around the world, and Manipur, a remote corner of India, where fiercely proud and athletically gifted people have decided that ‘home’ means home plate. And getting there means everything.
Linking these worlds is First Pitch, a resourceful group of NYC baseball fans, who banded together to help the game flourish in Manipur. In 2006-2007, First Pitch organized the first official baseball clinics in India - headed up by MLBI coaches Jeff Brueggemann and Dave Palese - and helped bring hundreds of mitts, balls and other equipment to Manipur players, compliments of Spalding Baseball.
A once-independent kingdom that merged into India in 1949, Manipur struggles with a volatile separatist movement, poverty, crime, and an HIV/AIDS epidemic that stunts development and leaves families decimated.
But Manipur is also home to a gung-ho baseball community, who carve their own bats and play whole seasons sharing two or three paper-thin mitts, pursuing the game with a purity of purpose - a passion - the rest of us, perhaps, can only dream of.
THE ONLY REAL GAME is a fighters’ and dreamers’ story about how magical baseball can be to people in a troubled, distant place. It is a Manipuri story that brings us to the heart of the great American game.
First Pitch, USA/Manipur, India Baseball Project
Director - Mirra Bank
Producers - Laine Valentino, Muriel Peters, Somi Roy, Richard Brockman
Segment Editor - Maxwell Anderson
Baseball Dreams, LLC
249 W 29 St #7R
NY NY 10001
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