Category Archives: cinema


A Long Way from Home: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation

A Long Way From Home will chronicle the struggles of the pioneering African-American and Latino ballplayers who followed Jackie Robinson into white professional baseball, paying particular attention to their experiences in minor-league cities like Little Rock, Savannah, and Mobile, where Jim Crow remained a fact of life well into the 1960s.

As A Long Way From Home will show, the progress of baseball’s desegregation was more  contested—and the actions of those who followed in Robinson’s footsteps, more heroic—than is generally known. Placing this “forgotten fight” to desegregate professional baseball within the larger context of the Civil Rights movement, A Long Way From Home will impart an appreciation for the sacrifices and hard-won victories of men—some famous, some forgotten—who only seemed to be playing a game, when, in fact, they were playing for much more.

Scheduled for release in 2015.


Ballet with Bullets

The Basque game of jai alai was exported to Cuba in the late 19th century and, from there, to Miami, where its popularity rocketed almost as fast as the balls that flew around the court.

It remains the world’s fastest game — an elegant graceful, and sometimes dangerous “ballet with bullets” that compels players to scale walls to catch up to 180-mph returns. The difference now is, almost no one shows up to watch the action. 

A documentary about what it means to love a game so much you’d risk everything to play it — if only for yourself.

Scheduled for release in late 2013.



Errol Flynn’s Ghost: Hollywood in Havana

Most of the world knows Errol Flynn as the star of such swashbuckling epics as Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, and The Adventures of Robin Hood. But the last chapter of the actor’s life included a real-life adventure far stranger and more improbable than the plot of any film he ever made. In late 1958, Flynn traveled to Cuba as a reporter for the Hearst Press, to cover the advance of Fidel Castro’s rebels on Havana. Flynn not only spent five days with Castro, observing some of the fighting firsthand, but was the only American correspondent with Castro when dictator Fulgencio Batista fled the country on New Year’s Day 1959.

As Errol Flynn’s Ghost will show, this episode in many ways was a fitting climax to mid-20th century Cuba’s obsession with American movies.

In addition to chronicling Flynn’s Cuba adventure, Errol Flynn’s Ghost will travel to the island to uncover Havana’s lost movie palaces and the fascination with American culture they once embodied; from the majestic Payret, located in the center of Old Havana and still functioning as a movie venue (including as one of the main sites for the annual Havana Film Festival) to those which have been appropriated for other uses or long since shuttered, among them, the once splendid Cine Arenal, the Cine Moderno, and the Teatro Los Angeles.

Scheduled for release in 2015.


Enrique Martinez Celaya: Schneebett

In the summer of 2011, large crates began showing up at the Whale and Star complex we shared with acclaimed artist Enrique Martínez Celaya

The crates contained Schneebett, an installation Martínez Celaya had exhibited at the Berliner Philharmonie in 2004. Inspired by Beethoven’s final days, the work consists of a bronze, life-size sculpture, a painting, a chair, and tree branches. The sculpture is of a bed, and is connected to a cooling unit that produces a blanket of ice on its surface. (“Schneebett” is German for “snow bed.”) 

The work had been donated to the Miami Art Museum by German collector Dieter Rosenkranz and would be the museum’s featured exhibit during one of the biggest weeks on the international art calendar: Art Basel Miami Beach 2011. 

Before it could be shown, however, Schneebett had to be retrofitted with a new cooling system that could stand up to Miami’s hotter temps, not to mention the heat generated by the large crowds that would gather to view this important addition to MAM’s permanent collection. 

Realizing that we had a very small window of time — the retooling would be done over the course of a few short months — we grabbed our cameras and got to work on a documentary chronicling not only the mechanical upgrades, but the ideas that had inspired this significant commission in the career of Martínez Celaya.

The resulting short film, titled Enrique Martínez Celaya: Schneebett, premiered at an invitation-only event at Miami’s “Art Hotel,” The Sagamore, during Art Basel. 

Couldn’t make it that night? You can watch it here.


The Whistler

For four days in April, whistlers from all over the world descend on the quaint, somewhat remote North Carolina town of Louisburg to whistle operettas, concertos, Beatles medleys, and everything in between at the International Whistlers Competition. This year, mild-mannered graphic designer by day and world-class whistler by night Tim Eggert — who finished 12th at the competition two years ago — is gunning for the number one spot. 

The Whistler follows the 33 year-old Eggert in his attempt to claim the title of the world’s best competitive whistler. (Eggert’s performance of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” won the Allied Arts competition at the 2011 International Whistlers Convention.)

Scheduled for release in 2014.


Hecho a Mano: Creativity in Exile

The Emmy Award®-winning documentary Hecho a Mano: Creativity in Exile weaves together the stories of four Cuban artists living in Miami: pianist Paquito Hechavarría, sculptor Tony López, and ceramicists Nelson and Ronald Currás.

Even those who may have never heard their names before should be familiar with their work: Hechavarría played piano for some of Cuba’s biggest bands, was a regular performer at the Fontainebleau in the ’60s, and created the infectious opening to Miami Sound Machine’s “Conga;” López is responsible for thousands of sculptures, including the unforgettable Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach; and the Currás Brothers are known for large-scale tile mosaics that grace private homes, hotels, and public spaces throughout the Caribbean.

From Cuba to their early experiences in exile to today, Hecho a Mano explores their dedication to craft and their ability to create under often challenging circumstances. A documentary about life’s unexpected turns and the joy of working with your hands.

The film premiered on Miami PBS affiliate WLRN In February 2011 and has aired in select markets nationwide, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Antonio and Denver.

*Emmy® for Historical/Cultural Program, Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 2011 
*Best Florida Documentary, 2010 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
*Best Local Film, 2010 Miami Short Film Festival
*Best Documentary, 2010 Miami Short Film Festival 

Producers: Brett O’Bourke and Gaspar González
Director: Brett O’Bourke
Writer: Gaspar González
Director of Photography: Richard Patterson
Editor: Christina Burchard
Assoc. Producer: Christine Sylvain


Plastic Paradise

In the 1940s and 1950s, the return of American GIs from the Pacific helped launch a postwar Polynesian craze that lasted more than three decades. Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki expedition, James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, and Hawaiian statehood all fueled the phenomenon. This “tiki” culture — so named after the large, wooden sculptures found throughout Polynesia — included candy-colored, rum-infused cocktails with names like the Zombie and the Missionary’s Downfall, crazy Hawaiian shirts, exotic instrumental music fused with space-age pop, and a nonstop party scene inhabited by self-styled nonconformists and swingers.

Today, the spirit of tiki endures among a new generation of Polynesian popsters like musician Denny “King Kukulele” Moynahan, cocktail anthropologist Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, and tiki historian Sven Kirsten.

Plastic Paradise explores this fascinating, little known, and surprisingly enduring subculture. Making stops in Los Angeles, New York City, and South Florida, the film culminates with a visit to Hukilau, the largest gathering of tikiphiles on the East Coast, held every year at one of the last great holdovers from tiki’s golden age, Fort Lauderdale’s famed Mai-Kai Restaurant

Plastic Paradise premiered in 2013 and has aired in major markets coast-to-coast, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Miami.