"Boys of Summer" opens series of Student Panels at the National Theatre
Santo Domingo, November 17, 2010

 During its 94 minutes, the film narrates the inspiring story of the Little League award-winning baseball team of Curaçao.

With the panel entitled "The dream of baseball: Opportunities and Challenges", the fourth edition of the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival opened the series for students of public and private schools in the nation. "Boys of Summer" opened the festival and introduced the subject to be discussed.

In his introductory speech Paul Goris, on behalf of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (FUNGLODE), said that through these types of activities, the Foundation and the Ministry of Education aim to guide and educate secondary school students on the seventh art.

At this first meeting, which exceeded three hours, the Carlos Piantini Room at the National Theatre welcomed more than 500 students from the Polytechnic School Brigadier General Belisario Peguero Guerrero, who showed enthusiasm and acceptance of the plot raised by the feature film "Boys of Summer".

Boys of Summer recounts in 94 minutes of drama and laughter the inspiring story of Curaçao’s Pabao Little League Baseball team. It shows the obstacles it faced to keep the winning streak for eight consecutive years, representing the Caribbean Basin in the Little League World Series, chasing the dream of becoming world champions.

Participants were able to interact with the film director, Keith Aumont, with Jennifer Van Der Kwast, co-producer and the director’s wife, and Juremi Profar and Dennis Gustine, two actual players and members of the cast, who were the panelists.

When the discussion group started, the emotion enveloped Keith Aumont, the film’s director and producer, when he expressed his gratitude for the enthusiasm received during the screening, while admitting to being happy to share his feature film debut with the Dominican public.

"I have been a baseball fan all my life and, because my wife is a native of Curaçao, I had the opportunity to confirm the high level of the island’s young players, which is the reason why I decided to follow the team during the 2008 Summer season, to find out what keeps them coming back year after year," Aumont said. He further stressed that the original idea was inspired by the desire to show the world the unknown talent that the young people of Curaçao have for baseball. "To me these young guys are small giants", he said.

Jennifer Van Der Kwast said in halting Spanish "This is a very special project in my life because it shows an unknown side of my island, Curaçao.”

About what entails to pursue the dream of becoming a baseball player, Keith Aumont stressed that this sport, on the one hand "is one of the most dramatic sports because it demands much sacrifice both physical and mental, as well as time and perseverance, but once that is surpassed, and once they are in the field, each player has his moment of gratification and pride by representing his country and the dream of thousands of young people. "

"The central message of this film is to emphasize how perseverance, commitment and teamwork can make a big difference," Aumont said.

For their part, young players Juremi Profar and Dennis Gustina, agreed that discipline is essential in baseball, as is in the relationships within the family.

At the end of the discussions, Juana Díaz and Juan Carpio, teachers of the Polytechnic School Belisario Peguero, expressed their gratitude for the invitation and congratulated the panelists and organizers.

By Cinthia Lazala

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