PJFF Film: “Havana Curveball”

In this crowd-pleasing documentary that has screened in over 40 film festivals around the world, Mica Jarmel-Schneider, a 13-year-old baseball addict and die-hard San Francisco Giants fan, takes his rabbi’s directive to “help heal the world” to heart while preparing his bar mitzvah project.

The film documents Mica’s desire to connect with his European refugee grandfather via his grandfather’s Cuban roots and their mutual love of baseball. Obliging himself to collect and deliver bats, balls and mitts to kids in Cuba who love baseball as much as he does, but who lack the means to play with real equipment, he dedicates his bar mitzvah project to turning his dream into a reality. With the help of his filmmaker parents, some supportive Cuban activists and an attorney, Mica learns to navigate the U.S. foreign policy threatening his project and eventually lands on Cuban soil with the last 300 pounds of gear in tow.

“Havana Curveball” won “Best Documentary” at the Boston International Kids Festival, and it was an official selection of the Docaviv International Film Festival, the Other Israel Film Festival and the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

The guest speaker for this film showing is Rebecca Alpert, senior associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of religion at Temple University.