High Falls Film Festival "Summer Selections: A Mini Festival"

High Falls Film Festival "Summer Selections: A Mini Festival"

Monday, June 11, 2012 and Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heist film poster

Credit: Connecting the Dots Productions, LLC

WXXI, The Little Theatre and The High Falls Film Festival are proud to present "Summer Selections: A Mini Festival.

The High Falls Film Festival marks its return in Rochester with two nights of award-winning filmmaking during June. “Summer Selections: A Mini Festival”, kicked off with acclaimed documentary, Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? on Monday, June 11. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston and film director Frances Causey participated in a post-film discussion moderated by WXXI’s Julie Philipp.

The second documentary,  Pelotero (Ballplayer), shows on Tuesday, June 12at 7:30pm. One of the film’s directors Jon Paley will participate via Skype in an exclusive, live Q&A session directly following the screening. The 72-min documentary is directed by Guagua Productions (Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin & Jon Paley) and narrated by John Leguizamo. Set in the Dominican Republican, the film follows several up-and-coming players (peloteros) hoping to make it to the big leagues and aid their families back home, where poverty is commonplace. This screening is sponsored by First Niagara Bank. Tickets are $10, and may be purchased at the box office the night of the show beginning at 6pm. No discounts.

“We wanted to bring exciting films to the Rochester community as we take a ‘gap year’ to refocus the festival and continue fundraising for our 2013 festival,” said Nancy McAfee, board president. “By teaming up with the Little Theatre and WXXI, we have the opportunity to bring two great films—and many exciting speakers to our fans and supporters.”

About the film: Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?

A feature documentary that investigates the roots of the current economic crisis, and the ongoing assault on working people in the United States. It tells the hidden story of the systemic, multifaceted corporate attack on the middle class that, starting in the 1970s, transformed America's well-regulated economy into a battlefield littered with foreclosed homes, runaway jobs, and broken dreams. The American economy has been eviscerated due to four decades of deregulation, the outsourcing of forty-million manufacturing jobs, and self-serving tax policies that have created a new class of robber barons. Today's news blames Americans' devastated 401(k)'s and collapsed home values on financial earthquakes within the last two years.

"Heist" traces these seismic shifts back to their roots in the early 1970s. It shows how large corporations - acting through lobbying organizations like the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - began a political mobilization that would propel the largest transfer of wealth in history. The film supports the popular theory that the winners were the wealthiest 1% of our population. The losers are working class Americans.

About the film: Pelotero (Ballplayer)

In the run-up to the most important day of their lives, two young Dominican baseball players confront competition and corruption to achieve their Big League dreams.

For 16-year-old Dominican baseball players, the only real chance to escape crushing poverty comes every July 2nd, the day they become eligible to sign professional baseball contracts. “Pelotero” provides an intimate portrait of two prospects as they navigate the calculating, mercenary and often corrupt elements that surround Major League Baseball’s recruitment of the Island’s top talent.

Pelotero is produced by Bobby Valentine, Andrew Muscato and Isaac Solotaroff.