Israel’s baseball team has advanced to the World Baseball Classic for the first time in history. Thanks to the WBC’s rules on eligibility, the team consists of a number of Jewish-American Major League Baseball players. Most of them haven’t had much exposure to Judaism, let alone been to Israel. HEADING HOME, a documentary by Ironbound Films, follows these players on their first trip to Israel and hopefully Israel’s first baseball championship.
At risk of overstating, MLB reporter Jonathan Mayo is the Moses shepherding these players to the Promised Land. A friend of ours since Jewish sleep-away camp, Mayo has always been obsessed with baseball and its Jewish competitors. When Team Israel beat Great Britain in the WBC qualifier in Brooklyn this past September, Mayo knew he had a mission. Coordinating a trip for these players to visit Israel for the first time—all before the WBC in Seoul, South Korea, this coming March—was nothing short of parting the Red Sea.
We felt we had to tell the story. We raised enough money to join Mayo and the players on their pilgrimage. Israel is so new to baseball that the players were invited to break ground on the second baseball diamond in the entire country. During the onslaught of press conferences, autograph signings, and VIP tours, the group experienced huge laughs, unexpected tears, and a ton of soul-searching.
A horrific terrorist attack occurred during the trip. It put the safety of Team Israel—as well as what it means to represent the country—in sharp focus.
We seek funds on Kickstarter to follow Team Israel to the World Baseball Classic in Seoul this March. As professional athletes, the wins and losses they face will be nothing new. As first-time actors for Israel on the world stage, the public response, the team dynamic, and the personal growth they encounter will make for a riveting and edifying story.
The funds we raise on Kickstarter will cover travel to Seoul for the production team, local crew fees and production expenses, and upon our return, the edit of our footage into the documentary HEADING HOME.
Members of Team Israel featured in HEADING HOME include:
- Ike Davis
- Sam Fuld
- Ryan Lavarnway
- Cody Decker
- Ty Kelly
- Josh Zeid
- Jon Moscot
- Corey Baker
- Jeremy Bleich
Special appearances are made by Joc Pederson, Gabe Kapler, Brad Ausmus, Kevin Youkilis, Ian Kinsler, and Nate Freiman.
Risks and challenges
There is little risk with regard to the production, completion, and distribution of HEADING HOME.
Ironbound Films has completed principal photography in Israel, arguably the most difficult leg of production, where we earned the trust and gained complete access to the players of Team Israel. We have the full cooperation of Israel Association of Baseball and Major League Baseball, including free use of MLB’s footage and playing fields. We already possess media credentials to film at the World Baseball Classic.
Ironbound has also been creating documentary films for fifteen years. Every production we take on has premiered at a major film festival, run theatrically, aired on a major network, and/or been made available online. Along the way, we have won countless awards, critical acclaim, and at worst, a few grey hairs. (See video above.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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