I never thought the two sides of my life would ever come together. Baseball and Israel. I mean, for most of my life that would have been like peanut butter and tomato sauce.
Jews and baseball: That’s long been a thing. That “Great Jews in Sports” “pamphlet” they joke about in the movie “Airplane?” I had that book. There was that movie on the subject by sports writing great Ira Berkow. Throughout my career covering baseball — two decades worth at this point — I’ve long sought out Jewish players and talked to them about their background. I vividly remember standing behind the batting cage at Shea Stadium talking to Shawn Green about how he grew up calling his grandparents Bubbe and Zayde without totally understanding why.
But baseball and Israel? My favorite sport that I’ve been lucky enough to turn into a career, and the Jewish homeland, where I studied for a year before college? The national pastime with the nation my sister calls home (on Kibbutz Lotan)? No way, no how.
To be fair, there has been some baseball in Israel over the years, mostly brought over by Americans who moved there. There was an ill-fated attempt at a professional Israel Baseball League that lasted just one season in 2007, but the country wasn’t ready.
But now, maybe it is, which is unbelievable to say. I recently returned from a life-changing trip to Israel with professional baseball players. There were 10 in total — nine active and one retired — on the trip, along with significant others, children and friends. About two weeks’ worth was crammed into six days of touring. Historical sites, meeting dignitaries, floating in the Dead Sea, a lot of good food and even a little baseball-related activity. The players soaked up every bit of it.
They weren’t just ambassadors of the game, which was the most important objective, in many ways. They were ambassadors of American Jewry. Many of these players suited up for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualifier, held in Brooklyn, N.Y., last fall. They all had spoken about how proud they were to play because they were Jewish. After this trip, though, the connection, the bond to Israel is exponentially stronger. All of them said they wanted to come back. (Seven of the 10 had never been before.)
They also spoke of the impact they could have on the growth in Israel of the sport they have loved so long. They made two baseball stops on this whirlwind tour. One was at the Baptist Village, where the only real baseball field stands. The players took some batting practice, and then they took questions from the crowd, mostly kids eager to hear every word.
Then there was a groundbreaking in Beit Shemesh for what will be the first full-fledged baseball facility in the country. There were a few hundred people, largely from the younger set, on hand to get autographs and pictures with these Jewish ballplayers. Many of them were American, or their parents were American, and having baseball was depicted as a way to help them ease into life in a new country and culture.
I was lucky enough to witness all of this firsthand. And I have Jewish sleepaway camp to thank. I went on the trip — organized by the Israel Baseball Association and Jeff Aeder, who is starting the Jewish Baseball Museum — to help making a documentary film about the trip and Team Israel, and maybe a little bit about these players exploring their Judaism and building a bond with the Jewish homeland. It’s called “Heading Home” and the professional filmmakers are from Ironbound Films. Ironbound’s CEO is Jeremy Newberger, with whom I went to Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake some 30 or so years ago. We’re embarking on a fundraising campaign to raise money so we can follow the team’s exploits in the World Baseball Classic in South Korea in March (coming to a Kickstarter near you).
Baseball in Israel is still very much in its infancy. There won’t be a coda to the film with an Israeli in the Major Leagues. Playing in international competition this March might help push it closer to toddlerhood, but there is still a long way to go. The touring players understood this wasn’t going to happen overnight, that it could take 15 to 20 years to take hold. Whether the end game was to produce professional-level players from the country was beside the point. Just growing the game, helping people — their people — learn to play it and love it, that would be the biggest dayenu for all of them.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. He lives in Squirrel Hill with his wife, Sara, and their two children.
WATERVILLE — The Maine Film Center will kickoff the 2017 Cinema Explorations film series at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, and Sunday, Jan. 15, with screenings of “The Anthropologist” at Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad St. A Q&A with the film’s director, Seth Kramer, will immediately follow the screening.
At the core of the film are the parallel stories of two women: Margaret Mead, who popularized cultural anthropology in America; and Susie Crate, an environmental anthropologist currently studying the impact of climate change. Uniquely revealed from their daughters’ perspectives, Mead and Crate demonstrate a fascination with how societies are forced to negotiate the disruption of their traditional ways of life, whether through encounters with the outside world or the unprecedented change wrought by melting permafrost, receding glaciers and rising tides.
Iconic landmarks, falafel and, of course, baseball all on agenda
JERUSALEM -- The sun has set in Jerusalem, issuing in the Sabbath, or Shabbat. It seemed a perfect time to pause and reflect on the action-packed 48 hours the American Jewish baseball players have had since arriving in Israel on Wednesday.
Here to help grow the game of baseball, represent Team Israel -- as they will in South Korea in March in the World Baseball Classic -- as well as explore their own connections to being Jewish and this country, the 10 players on this trip have had two days of a whirlwind tour thus far. Here are the highlights, many of which will be included in a documentary about the trip and Team Israel called "Heading Home," by Ironbound Films.
A group of 11 Major League Baseball players and former Major League stars will be visiting Israel from January 3-10. The players are members of the Team Israel baseball team that will play in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament in March 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. The team won its place in the tournament by qualifying at a tournament in Brooklyn, New York in September.
The players who will be visiting Israel are: Danny Valencia, Sam Fuld, Ty Kelly, Ike Davis, Ryan Lavarnway, Josh Zeid, Cody Decker, Jon Moscot, Corey Baker, Jeremy Bleich and Gabe Kapler.
According to the rules of the WBC, players who are eligible for citizenship of a country are allowed to play on that country’s team. As a result, Jewish baseball players are eligible to play on Team Israel. This will be the first time that American Jewish baseball players represent Team Israel in a world championship.
The team will visit tour Israel, including visiting the holy sites in Jerusalem, an air force base, Masada and the Dead Sea. They will also spend time meeting the local Israeli baseball players of the Israel Association of Baseball, and will have practices for the tournament. An event will be held on January 5 at the Baptist Village at 16:00 where members of the IAB can come to meet the players and watch them practice. Details to follow.
The group will be accompanied by a film crew that will make a documentary of the trip called “Heading Home”.
“This is an extremely exciting event for Israel baseball in particular and for sport in Israel in general,” says Peter Kurz, President of the Israel Association of Baseball. “The team is clearly the most impressive Jewish sports team ever assembled, and we are very proud that they will be representing Israel at the WBC. This trip will be an excellent opportunity for them to learn about Israel and meet the teams and players in Israel that will be supporting them at the WBC.”
The trip is sponsored by JNF Project Baseball, Jeff Aeder, founder of the Jewish Baseball Museum and other donors.
Ever wanted to follow in the footsteps of beloved anthropologist Margaret Mead? Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger’s award-winning documentary “The Anthropologist” does just that. The film follows American teen Katie Crate who, along with her anthropologist mother Susie, spends five years studying the impact of climate change on indigenous communities. Along the way, their incredible journey parallels Mead’s, who spent decades of her professional career seeking to understand how global change affects remote cultures.
The Anthropologist considers the fate of the planet from the perspective of an American teenager. Over five years, she travels alongside her mother, Susie Crate, an anthropologist studying the impact of climate change on indigenous communities. Their journey parallels that of renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead, who for decades sought to understand how global change affects remote cultures.
Seth Kramer, one of the film's directors, and Susie Crate will attend the screening and will be available for questions following the film.
The Anthropologist world premiered at DOC NYC in 2015 as a co-presentation with the American Museum of Natural History. The film has since been selected by more than 30 film festivals, including Cleveland, Dallas, IFFBoston, St. Louis, Greenwich International Film Festival and San Francisco Green. It was invited by the United Nations to show at the COP21 Paris Climate Conference; and screened simultaneously at more than 30 universities to celebrate World Anthropology Day. The Anthropologist was selected as opening night film of the Santa Cruz Film Festival where it won the EarthVision Environmental Feature Award, and the Arizona International Film Festival, where it won Best Documentary.
"I don't think we can change the world. I think that we change, and that changes the world," counsels Susie Crate. She is one of the protagonists of the documentary "The Anthropologist", which shows the impact of climate change on indigenous communities globally. Straight after its premiere at the DOC NYC Film Festival on 13 November 2015, it was shown at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference COP21 and now, on 26 September 2016, at Ciné-ONU Vienna.
The film follows the parallel stories of two popular Anthropologists; Margaret Mead who popularized cultural anthropology in America; and Susie Crate, an environmental anthropologist and is told from the unique perspective of their daughters. Mead and Crate demonstrate a fascination with how societies are forced to negotiate the disruption of their traditional ways of life, whether through encounters with the outside world or the unprecedented change wrought by melting permafrost, receding glaciers and rising tides. Crate's daughter, Katie, as well as Margaret Mead's daughter, Mary now 76, offer a fresh look not only at anthropology, but also the challenges of climate change. Filmed over the course of seven years, the Anthropologist is a meditation on change, both individual and societal.
The screening was followed by a discussion with the Co-director of the film, Seth Kramer, Professor Peter Schweitzer from the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna and Johanna Kuchling, Campaigner and Project Coordinator from the Society for Threatened Peoples. The Director of the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, Martin Nesirky, moderated the discussion.
Seth Kramer, spoke about making the film and the unique challenge working with a teenager. On one occasion he had to find his way to a Siberian village in the middle of nowhere, one of the field sites where Susie had done research. When he finally arrived, Katie, her daughter, decided she had a bad hair day and didn't want to be on camera. Creating a documentary on a serious topic like climate change can be a risk he said because you will never know how it will be perceived by the audience, but he added: "Even though climate change is a serious topic the movie is sometimes funny and not made in a vacuum." The story is not just a tragic story without hope. The film shows "human beings have the ability to change" which was interesting for him to learn during the shooting of it.
Professor Schweitzer talked about the challenges of being an anthropologist. "You have to be willing to be the child that learns. There is no place where it is easy, so you have to be ready to humiliate yourself". He spoke about his field experiences and how we can cope with the impact of climate change: "If anything is going to save us, it is local innovations".
Johanna Kuchling from the Society for Threatened Peoples raised awareness about the situation of indigenous peoples and that we have to be careful when approaching their communities: "Indigenous peoples already have sustainable ways to use their lands. We have to embrace that knowledge, we can learn a lot from them."
The Vienna screening was the film premiere of "The Anthropologist" in Austria, organized by the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the United States of America to the United Nations (Vienna), This Human World (THW) Film Festival and Topkino.
In September, members of the Academy’s Documentary Branch got an overwhelming homework assignment: DVD screeners of 90 different non-fiction films.
That works out to four and a half hours a day of movie viewing, seven days a week, all month long.
Mind you, nobody in the branch is actually expected to watch all of those films before voting in the Oscars’ Best Documentary Feature category. Instead, each person was randomly assigned 15-20 of those films as required viewing so that every film will be viewed by a chunk of the branch, which consists of more than 250 members.
In today's programme: Professor Florian Bieber gives his analysis of yesterday's controversial referendum in the Republic of Srpska, Colman OCriodain, the WWF Internationals Policy Expert on Wildlife Trade, explains what needs to be done to protect elephants from poaching, our Washington DC correspondent David Smith outlines the preparation strategies of the Trump and Clinton campaigns ahead of tonight's much anticipated televised debate, and director Seth Kramer talks about his documentary "The Anthropologist", which is showing at the Top Kino in Vienna tonight.
The Anthropologist follows the stories of daughters of the anthropologists, Margaret Mead and Susie Crate, around the world as they document the very real effects of climate change. The realisation this touching and personal film brings is how problems being experienced in remote parts of the world will soon land on our own doorsteps. As anthropologists, they study how the people living in the most effected regions learn to cope with their lands literally falling apart under their feet.
Amidst the haunting images of cattle sinking into permafrost in Siberia or villagers standing chest-deep in the sea where their town hall used to be, the film explores the resilience of human beings in the face of extreme change and what positive impacts we can result from a disaster situation.
Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe.
– Gravitas Ventures announced have acquired North American rights to “The Anthropologist,” the hit documentary by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger of Ironbound Films. The features explores climate change like no other film before, using the perspective of American teenager Katie Crate as she travels alongside her mother Susie, an anthropologist studying the impact of climate change on indigenous communities. Their journey parallels that of renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead, who for decades sought to understand how global change affects remote cultures. The film will be released by Gravitas Ventures across all platforms in the US and Canada this fall. “Gravitas Ventures champions eclectic films with heart. They are the perfect partners to help introduce ‘The Anthropologist’ to cultures everywhere,” said Daniel A. Miller, producer, director, and writer for Ironbound Films.
Distributor Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to environmental documentary The Anthropologist (pictured).
Directed by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger of Ironbound Films, the doc follows an anthropologist and her teenage daughter as they study the impact of climate change on indigenous communities around the world. Read realscreen’s story on the doc here.
The El Segundo, California-based company will release the film across all platforms in the U.S. and Canada this fall. The Anthropologist world premiered at DOC NYC in November as a co-presentation with the American Museum of Natural History.
In other doc distribution news, Zeitgeist Films has acquired the U.S. theatrical and non-theatrical rights to David Schisgall’s Theo Who Lived, about American journalist Theo Padnos who was kidnapped in Syria by Islamic militants and held for 22 months.
The distributor will open the doc theatrically on September 30 at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in New York City and roll it out in select U.S. cities later in the fall.
Gravitas Ventures just acquired North American rights to The Anthropologist, the documentary that explores climate change from Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger of Ironbound Films. In the film, the fate of the planet is considered from the perspective of American teenager Katie Crate. Over the course of five years, she travels alongside her mother Susie, an anthropologist studying the impact of climate change on indigenous communities. Their journey parallels that of renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead, who for decades sought to understand how global change affects remote cultures. The film will be released by Gravitas Ventures across all platforms in the U.S. and Canada this fall. The film has been selected by more than 30 film festivals across the nation. The deal was negotiated by Dan Fisher for Gravitas Ventures and Daniel A. Miller for Ironbound Films.
20.05.2016 – “If we can’t stop the change that is coming, will we be able to change ourselves?” This question, core to the narrative of The Anthropologist, was discussed during Ciné-ONU’s post screening panel discussion on 19 May, an event which marked the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.
Ciné-ONU screened yet another gripping documentary to an audience of over 300, this time focusing on the shocking impact of climate change on indigenous peoples. No sooner was the grand theatre of the Italian Cultural Institute plunged into darkness than we were swept on board the compelling journey of a young American teenager and her mother, an anthropologist, who together roamed the world for five years, studying the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable and hardest hit communities.
The Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) has announced its Opening Night Films and Closing Night Films in addition to its full film slate, and special programs for its second edition. The festival will open with narrative feature "Little Boxes" and documentary offering "The Anthropologist." The festival will close out with screenings of "Claire In Motion" and "Since: The Bombding of Pan Am Flight 103." The fest previously announced its centerpiece picks, including "The Fundamentals of Caring," "My Blind Brother" and "Newtown." The festival has also announced its plans to host a Ondi Timoner Retrospective and a Jewish Film Series as part of its rapidly expanding slate. The festival takes place in Greenwich, CT from June 9-12. You can check out more information on the festival here.
The Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) today announced its Opening Night Films and Closing Night Films in addition to its full film slate, and special programs for its second edition, taking place June 9-12. The festival previously announced its Centerpiece Film Program, including THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING, MY BLIND BROTHER, and NEWTOWN as well as this year’s Changemaker Honorees, Trudie Styler and Abigail Breslin.
GIFF will kick off on June 9th with Opening Night screenings of LITTLE BOXES and the Connecticut Premiere of THE ANTHROPOLOGIST. LITTLE BOXES follows Clark, the new-in-town biracial kid in a sea of white. Discovering that to be cool he needs to act ‘more black,’ he fumbles to meet expectations, while his urban intellectual parents Mack and Gina also strive to adjust to small-town living. The Opening Night Documentary Feature, THE ANTHROPOLOGIST explores indigenous communities that are hit hardest by climate change.
It opens with clips of a woman pulling home movies out of a shelter. And for most of the runtime, that’s what The Anthropologist’s three directors provide: a halfway-natural look at the lives of a family on the move. Their subject is anthropologist Susie Crate (she’s focused on the effect of climate change on traditionalist cultures) and her teenaged daughter Katie (who agrees with her Mom’s politics but often seems annoyed by her work); the former takes the latter along for every field trip, be it Siberia, Peru, or the South Pacific for Christmas. Intersecting those clips are interview segments with Mary Catherine Bateson, daughter of famed mid-century anthropologist Margaret Mead. She has tenure, and so she digresses as she sees fit: At one point she speaks about the science of psychological change, and later she pontificates about how cool it is that President Obama’s mother was an anthropologist. Three generations of interconnected women give their take on the work that defines their lives, while the three directors try to create a sense of cultural exchange between their varied eras: On the soundtrack is a cover of “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” then it’s “Don’t You Forget About Me,” and after that it’s EDM.
We've found five must-see movies at the Independent Film Festival Boston, in town from April 27 to May 4, with star casts including locals like John Krasinski and Anna Kendrick, and Friends producer Kevin S. Bright.
The Anthropologist tells the stories of two women; Margaret Mead, who popularized cultural anthropology in America, and Susie Crate, an environmental anthropologist currently studying the impact of climate change. May 1 at 5:15 p.m. Somerville Theater, 55 Davis Sq., Somerville
Katie doesn’t exactly want to be following her mom around the world, especially during Christmas.
The Anthropologist, which follows the mother-daughter duo from Siberia to the south Pacific, tracks the pair over a four-year period beginning when Katie is 14.
“I have great respect for what my mom is doing, but that doesn’t mean I want to be like her,” she says at one point in the film. But it’s their mostly supportive relationship that anchors the piece as the two learn about the ways climate change negatively impacts the lives of poor people worldwide.
The film also features the daughter of famous anthropologist Margaret Mead, which leads to some initial discord in the viewer’s mind because it isn’t exactly clear where the film will focus. With periodic personal details from Mead’s daughter, her role is more than that of an expert commentator but falls far below the focal point of the main pair, creating some confusion.
But now that you know that, you’ll be able to watch The Anthropologistwith no hang-ups, trailing along for meetings with the Navy or hiking for glacial ice in South America. And just as interesting, viewers witness Katie’s growth and transformation with the benefit of her own insight.
The Anthropologist screens on April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at A/perture 2.
The Anthropologist: Directed by Daniel Miller Any film that opens with Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven” is off on the right foot, and this engrossing documentary explores the life and career of noted anthropologist Margaret Mead, as told in the words of her daughter Mary Catherine Bateson, while simultaneously exploring the work being done by anthropologist Susie Crate, a single mother often accompanied by her own daughter Kate. As well as addressing various environmental concerns (with a particular emphasis on climate change), the film also works as a portrait of a working anthropologist and a teen-aged daughter who has crisscrossed the globe in her young life – thereby giving her a unique insight into various cultures – but who also, inevitably, butts heads with mom. That adds a nice personal touch to the proceedings (and the film’s message) … and love those end credits!
Our globe never ceases to change, falter, adapt, and thrive. Thanks to those dedicated to study these transitions, what we learn from our past can help dictate the choices we make for our future. Daniel Miller, director of the 2008 film “The Linguists,” a film documenting languages on the verge of extinction, seeks to bring social sciences to life yet again with “The Anthropologist.”
“Anthropology is how we learn about changes through people,” Miller says. “This film brings a human face to climate change.”
#4 The Anthropologist profiles the lives of renowned anthropologists, Margaret Mead and Susan Crate, through the eyes of their daughters. While Mead’s groundbreaking work shaped the past, Crate’s work is the future. She has dedicated her career to studying the impact climate change has on indigenous people and their communities. The film follows Crate and her teenage daughter, Kathryn, who gains a unique cultural education through their travels. Mead’s daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson ( now in her seventies), followed in her mother’s footsteps as well, publishing several books and teaching anthropology at Harvard University and George Mason University. This compelling documentary shines a light on an often underrated discipline that’s incredibly vital to understanding the world around us. As these brilliant women demonstrate here, it’s also an important asset in enacting change. Seeing how they’ve passed the torch is inspiring; their passion for what they do is truly contagious. Through its footage of Crate’s expeditions, the film also paints a beautiful portrait of the cultural diversity of our planet.
Films eligible for the Silver Heart Award (Presented by the Embrey Family Foundation and bestowed on an individual or film for their dedication to fighting injustices and/or creating social change for the improvement of humanity. The Silver Heart Award winner receives a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Embrey Family Foundation) include: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger’s THE ANTHROPOLOGIST, Fulton and Pepe’s THE BAD KIDS, Blair and Lange’s FARMER/VETERAN, Wang’s HOOLIGAN SPARROW, Dimmock and LaMarca’s THE PEARL, Maghami’s SONITA, and Jackson and Jackson’s UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.
Through March 20. The Denver Film Society's year-round Women + Film program culminates with this week's Women + Film Festival, a six-day celebration (which began March 15) of documentaries, features and shorts highlighting the best in women-centric filmmaking. This weekend's highlights include tonight's Filmmaker Focus Panel presented by the Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media, the late-addition comedy "Maggie's Plan" and provocative titles such as "The Babushkas of Chernobyl" (March 19) and "Trapped" (March 20). A full schedule of the fest, which wraps up March 20, is at denverfilm.org. $100 festival pass or $12 per film. Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. 303-595-3456.
The South African Eco Film Festival is back this March with a mixture of local surprises and global award-winners in the bag. Now in its third year, it would be within the festival’s rights to develop a bit of an eco (see what we did there?). The festival, convened by NPO While You Were Sleeping, has expanded steadily annually, and this year is no exception. But how important are such initiatives, who are they reaching, and are we thinking about environmental education in the right way?
Anthropologist Karen Holmberg and Professor Susan Crate will lead a discussion Friday night on climate change and its affect on native cultures at a film screening hosted by the Mathews Film Society.
Crate is a professor of Anthropology at George Mason University, according to a news released from the film society. Her work is the subject of“The Anthropologist" - a five year journey around the globe observing a variety of cultures, including a stop on Gloucester County.
The RiverRun International Film Festival has announced three films to be showcased during the upcoming Festival ( to run April 7-17). These films, part of RiverRun’s Films With Class educational outreach program, will be privately screened by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School students as well as shown to the general public during the Festival. RiverRun will announce the full film lineup for this year’s Festival on March 7, 2016, which will be accessible to the public the following day.