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Youthful idealism collides with U.S. policy, and family history, in a story that asks: What does it take to do good in the world?
Youthful idealism collides with U.S. policy, and family history, in a story that asks: What does it take to do good in the world?
Youthful idealism collides with U.S. policy, and family history, in a story that asks: What does it take to do good in the world?
413 backers pledged $44,715 to help bring this project to life.

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Got Balz? - a film by Ken Schneider & Marcia Jarmel

$44,715

413

Got Balz?

Tax deductible donations to GOT BALZ? can be made here, or sent to: 
Center for Independent Documentary 
680 South Main Street 
Sharon, MA  02067 
(write "GOT BALZ?" in the memo line)

To learn more, visit our website or Facebook page. 

Ken and I are committed to GOT BALZ? having impact. Please share your ideas on our Facebook page or email us directly: info@patchworksfilms.net.
  
• How would you use the film? 
• What should be in our educator toolkit?  
• What resources would be useful on the film’s website? 
• Who should see the film? 
• Who would be good partners in our outreach & 
engagement campaign? 
• How we can we connect with them? 
  
Thanks for your belief in our work! We won’t fail you. 
  
Marcia & Ken

Thank you so much for checking out  Got Balz?--a compelling coming-of- age story for baseball lovers, Cuba-philes, and anyone who remembers how growing up challenges idealism.   

Ken and I are completely overwhelmed with the outpouring of support that will make the final editing of GOT BALZ? possible. With all this momentum, we can make it all the way to the Title. 

We are THRILLED to reach our goal, and we will need additional support for the FINAL LAB WORK, to create CURRICULUM and WEB materials, and to LAUNCH into the world.  You still have time to join the team and make a very valuable contribution! 

The Story

Inspired by his grandpa's holocaust rescue story and his Bar Mitzvah community service requirement, thirteen-year-old Mica decides to pay back Cuba—with baseballs. Collecting gear from friends and thrift stores proves easy, but the U.S. policy toward Cuba throws him a curve ball. The ninety miles to Havana might as well be a million. As he shifts from high pitched boy to broad shouldered young man, youthful idealism collides with political reality. This charming coming of age story reveals just how big and messy the adult world can be.

What The Film Can Do

We're working with educators to create a film that is fun and inspiring, and can engage young people in deep and relevant conversations about the complexities of social responsibility.  When kids see Mica, we hope they see a little bit of themselves. We've been lucky to capture such a personal story on film and are excited by the response it elicits from the young people who've seen the work-in-progress.

In addition to film festivals, art houses, and television, we've got bigger plans for GOT BALZ? Like our successful campaigns with our previous films, we will launch a nationwide engagement campaign aimed at schools, religious groups, youth leadership and philanthropy, including web tools and classroom resources.

How You Can Help

This is a project near and dear to our hearts, so we've happily donated our time and equipment to the project over the past three years.  With the help of a few generous funders we traveled to Cuba last spring, and have been editing since on our own time.  But we can't finish the film without funding to pay for music, and the final picture and sound work. That's why we're reaching out to you, to help us get to home plate. 

Beyond a donation, there are opportunities to play a bigger part on the team.

  •  Do you have friends or networks that would be interested in this project? Would you send a letter or email to them (we can provide samples) introducing them to the project?  
  • Do you have ideas about how the film can be helpful? What should be in our educator toolkit?  Send us an email and let us know your thoughts!

Who We Are

We are Marcia Jarmel & Ken Schneider, documentary filmmakers for the past 20 years.  Our films usually explore contemporary social issues through intimate character stories. We've never made films about our kids before. But this story, unfolding under our noses, was just  too compelling not to follow with our camera. Our award-winning films have screened on public television, film festivals, museums, community centers, public libraries, universities, and schools around the world. In addition, Ken ‘s editing work has been recognized with an Emmy, a Peabody, a Columbia-Dupont, an Indie Spirit Award, and top awards at the Sundance Film Festival, and an Oscar nomination. You can see clips of all our films on our website: www.patchworksfilms.net.

Other Ways to Donate

Don't want to use a credit card? Feel free to write a check to our nonprofit sponsor.  

  • Write a check to: The Center for Independent Documentary.
  • Write: GOT BALZ? in the memo line. 
  • Send it to: 
  • PatchWorks Films, 663 7th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118
  • We'll make sure you get a receipt for your tax deduction, and your rewards! Questions, write to: info@patchworksfilms.info.

Why $18?

In Jewish tradition the number 18 is connected to the idea of "chai"--life. Giving in multiples of 18 brings life to our project!

Curious About Our Rewards?

Check out what we are offering: 

(Cover of Charlie Varon performance)

(Cover of Jeff Greenwald "Size of the World" novel)

(Cover of "The John Carlos Story" novel)

(Cover of "Towers of Gold" by Frances Dinkelspiel)

(Cover of Jeff Greenwald's "Scratching The Surface" novel)

(Cover of Tom Miller travel memoir)

(28" x 20" silkscreen poster by Pepe Menendez)

(7x22 archival ink jet print, "Hoops"; Steven Brock, 2007)

("The Medium"; Najib Joe Hakim)

("1946 World Series: Pesky Hesitates"; Mark Ulriksen)

("Gone!"; Mark Ulrisken)

("Bonds Beats Mays"; Mark Ulriksen)

("Your 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants"; Mark Ulriksen)

("Sieves and Sifters"; 11x14 C-print by Anita Bowen; Find more of her work here: veritefoto.com and anitabowen.com)

("Mensch" baseball)








(Center for Cuban Studies notecards of paintings by Luis Rodríguez Ricardo)

("The Way Of Baseball" by Shawn Green)

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    "No need to send a gift." Donate any amount you wish and know that you have our eternal gratitude!

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    In Jewish tradition, multiples of $18 will bring our project chai—life. Join our website's Wall of Donors and receive exclusive updates as we work to complete our film!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    As a thanks from the Got Balz? team, we'll send you a Got Balz? postcard with a personalized note! You'll also join our website's Wall of Donors and receive exclusive updates as we work to complete our film!

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    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    Our "Single" package! Be the first to see the film. We'll send you a link to a digital download as soon as its finished, plus we'll put your name on our website's Wall of Donors, and you'll receive exclusive project updates!

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    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    Receive a double CD of "Rabbi Sam: Live from The Marsh", by award-winning solo performer, Charlie Varon. Called "wildly entertaining", this show was rated one of the top ten plays of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and is donated to our campaign by Charlie himself! We'll throw in our "Single" package as well!

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    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    Get our "Single" package and we'll also throw in an awesome "Mensch" baseball for your support! Mensch translates to "Good Person"! (Donated to our campaign by Jay Goldberg of the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse in New York!)

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    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    Brought to us by the Center For Cuban Studies, we have for you a set of eight 5 x 7 notecards (with envelopes) of eight full-color paintings by Luis Rodríguez Ricardo, an outstanding primitivist painter from Santiago de Cuba. We'll also throw in our "Single" package!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $54 or more About $54

    Our "Double" package! Receive a first edition GOT BALZ? DVD, your name on our Wall of Donors, and our exclusive project updates!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $72 or more About $72

    Receive a first-edition GOT BALZ? cotton black t-shirt to show your support! [Multiple sizes available.] Plus the "Single" package!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Enjoy a signed hardcover first-edition of "The Size of the World", a novel by Jeff Greenwald, executive director of Ethical Traveler, a global alliance of travelers dedicated to human rights and environmental protection. The Los Angeles Times calls it: "Ingenious and manic... An intrepid, articulate, and funny traveler--Phileas Fogg meets Woody Allen." We'll also throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Receive a signed edition of Tom Miller's extraordinary look at traveling in Cuba: "Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro's Cuba". Heralded by Lonely Planet Cuba as "...the best travel book about Cuba ever written.” Donated to our campaign by Tom himself! We'll also throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Get a signed copy of "Scratching The Surface: Impressions of Planet Earth, from Hollywood to Shiraz", a novel by Jeff Greenwald, executive director of Ethical Traveler, a global alliance of travelers dedicated to human rights and environmental protection. This novel features the best of Greenwald's short travel writing, and provides an illuminating and hilarious view of our changing world. We'll also throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Get a signed copy of "The John Carlos" story, written by Olympic Track and Field athlete John Carlos with David Zirin, and donated to our campaign by John himself. Author Michael Eric Dyson calls it "An inspiring and eloquent story about a great American." We'll also throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Get a signed copy of "Towers Of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California," by Frances Dinkelspiel! "You'll never see downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco's financial district in quite the same way again." - Julie Flynn Siler. Also, we'll throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Brought to you by Shawn Green himself, we have two signed copies of "The Way Of Baseball: Stillness At 95 MPH." "Green shares the secrets to remaining focused both on and off the field, shedding light on a signature approach to living by using his remarkable baseball experiences to exemplify how one can find full awareness, presence, and, ultimately, fulfillment in any endeavor. " We'll also throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $108 or more About $108

    Direct from Cuba! Receive a baseball cap & embroidered "Jonrón" (homerun!) t-shirt! This is a limited item, due to the rarity of Cuban goods in the USA. Plus, we'll throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $108 or more About $108

    Our "Triple" package! Receive a GOT BALZ? cotton black t-shirt to show your support, a first-edition DVD signed by Marcia and Ken, your name on our Wall of Donors, and exclusive project updates!

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $144 or more About $144

    Receive a baseball signed by 4-time All-Star and 1953 MVP Al Rosen, the "Hebrew Hammer", donated to our campaign by Al himself! Also, receive our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $144 or more About $144

    Receive an authentic MLB baseball signed by Pablo "Panda" Sandoval! (Donated exclusively to our campaign by the San Francisco Giants Organization). We'll also throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $144 or more About $144

    Receive an authentic MLB baseball signed by Buster Posey! (Donated exclusively to our campaign by the San Francisco Giants Organization). We'll also throw in our "Single" package!

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  21. Select this reward

    Pledge $144 or more About $144

    Receive a signed 11x14 c-print by Anita Bowen, donated to our campaign by Anita herself. Anita is currently focusing her photographic talents on the culture of food in the bay area. The image offered here, "Sieves and Sifters" is from a series called "Kitchen Details". Another passion for Anita is documenting Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. She has worked with youth for years and delights in witnessing the wild fluid moments between child and adult. We'll also throw in our "double" package!

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    Pledge $144 or more About $144

    Donated to the campaign by Jaden, Ken and Marcia's son, we have a baseball signed by Cuban baseball players during the 2010-2011 campaign! The ball is signed by 12 players, including Yonder Martinez, one of the island's best pitchers, and a player on the Cuban National Team Jose Dariel Abreu, who set a Cuban home run record in 2010-2011 and was named league MVP. We'll also throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $162 or more About $162

    Two tickets to an Oakland A's game! Donated to our campaign by the Oakland A's, (some games excluded). Plus, we'll throw in our "Single" package!

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  24. Select this reward

    Pledge $162 or more About $162

    Receive a signed original 11x14 C print of Najib Joe Hakim's photo "The Medium." This portrait captures an elderly Cuban woman preparing a Santeria ‘séance’ for her grandson.

    Award-winning photographer, Najib Joe Hakim's work has been published in Life, Parenting, GQ, Wine & Spirits, and Metropolitan Home. His personal work has been exhibited in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Vietnam.

    Plus we'll throw in our "Double" package!

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    Pledge $252 or more About $252

    Brought to us by the Center for Cuban Studies, we have a rare 28" x 20" silkscreen poster created by famous Cuban designer, Pepe Menendez. The poster was made for an exhibit on sports themes. We'll also throw in our "Double" package!

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    Pledge $270 or more About $270

    Two lower box tickets to a SF Giant's home game, donated by the Giant's organization. Plus, we'll throw in our "Single" package!

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    Pledge $270 or more About $270

    Ever wondered about the ethics of traveling? Here's a chance to explore the subject with the guy who literally "wrote the book." Ethical Traveler's Jeff Greenwald is donating a personal 30-minute Skype call to chat with you about any aspect of travel or travel writing you want to discuss!

    Best-selling travel writer, Jeff writes for The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Smithsonian.com, and Salon. As Executive Director of Ethical Traveler, he leads a global alliance of travelers dedicated to human rights and environmental protection!

    Plus we'll throw in our "Double" package!

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    Receive a signed print of Mark Ulriksen's "1946 World Series: Pesky Hesitates", first printed as a Boston Globe poster. Size 19"x13".

    Mark is known for his more than 200 illustrations and 38 magazine covers for the New Yorker.

    Plus, we're throwing in our "Triple" package!

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    Pledge $360 or more About $360

    "Take me out to the ball game!" We have free admission for you and up to 9 other people for any Oakland A's game of your choice for the 2012 season! This was donated to us by the Latino Wish Inc. Nonprofit. We'll also throw in our "Double" package! (Local recipients only.)

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    Pledge $396 or more About $396

    Signed by New Yorker illustrator Mark Ulriksen himself, enjoy this limited edition print of "Your 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants." Known for his more than 200 illustrations and 38 magazine covers for the New Yorker, Mark calls it "a personal painting to celebrate my favorite team's first ever World Series victory."

    Plus, we'll throw in our "Double" package!

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  31. Select this reward

    Pledge $396 or more About $396

    Signed by New Yorker illustrator Mark Ulriksen himself, enjoy this limited edition print of "Your 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants." Known for his more than 200 illustrations and 38 magazine covers for the New Yorker, Mark calls it "a personal painting to celebrate my favorite team's first ever World Series victory."

    Plus, we'll throw in our "Double" package!

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    1 backer
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    Pledge $504 or more About $504

    Our "Home Run" package! You will be thanked in the credits as GOT BALZ? makes the global film festival circuit.

    Plus we're throwing in DVDs of all three PatchWorks' award-winning docs: "Speaking in Tongues," "Born in the U.S.A.," and "The Return of Sarah's Daughters." In addition, you'll get the "Triple" package. And, you'll be an official "mensch" (translation: good person)!

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    Pledge $504 or more About $504

    Receive a signed, limited-edition 17" x 23" print of Mark Ulriksen's "Gone!", a New Yorker magazine illustration celebrating Pac Bell Park.

    Mark is known for his more than 200 illustrations and 38 magazine covers for the New Yorker.

    Plus, we're throwing in our "Triple" package!

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    Pledge $504 or more About $504

    Receive a signed 17 x 22 archival ink jet print of Steven Brock's photo "Hoops," photographed in Cuba in 2007! Steven Brock's photos have been in exhibition at prestigious galleries from New York to San Francisco, and have been featured in the New Yorker and New York Times! We'll also throw in our "Triple" package!

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    Pledge $720 or more About $720

    Receive a signed, limited-edition 21" x 35" print of Mark Ulriksen's "Bonds Beats Mays," first printed as a San Francisco Chronicle poster. This print was donated to our campaign by Mark himself.

    Mark is known for his more than 200 illustrations and 38 magazine covers for the New Yorker.

    Plus, we're throwing in our "Triple" package!

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    Pledge $1,008 or more About $1,008

    Are you a documentary filmmaker who can use a good consulting editor? Four-hour consult with Academy-award nominated documentary film editor, Ken Schneider. You can meet him personally in the Bay Area or talk via Skype at a time convenient to you. Plus, we'll throw in our "Home Run" package!

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    Pledge $9,972 or more About $9,972

    Ever wanted to be involved with independent film? Here's a chance to become an Associate Producer! Engage with the directors throughout the creative process, have your name listed in the film credits, and be invited to premiere events!

    Plus, of course, we'll throw in our "Home Run" package, and give you prominent acknowledgement on our website's Donors Wall!

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Funding period

- (40 days)