President's Cup film to premiere today
"The President's Cup," a documentary film about an annual high school baseball tournament in Baltimore, will premiere at the University of Baltimore today at 6 p.m. The film, directed by Julie Simon, associate professor in the university's School of Communications Design, follows the progress of the second annual tournament, which took place in 2012, and makes its debut as this year's tournament is under way. Team members, their families and friends will be special guests at the premiere, which will take place in Wright Theater, located in the UB Student Center, 21 W.Mount Royal Ave. City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young also is to be in attendance, along with university Provost Joseph Wood and other officials. The event is free and open to the public. Simon, a former network television producer and a longtime educator at UB, said the film explores the ways that the game of baseball can bring together boys of vastly different backgrounds—and how that "bit of magic" happens. "I was interested in whether the premise of putting together these kids from very different backgrounds could work, on the baseball field and as a film," Simon said. "At first I was skeptical, especially knowing that high school students aren't always open to questions about what inspires them. But there's a bit of magic about baseball: Even though these players seem to have very little in common, the President's Cup tournament really brings out their mutual love of the game. In the end, they're all just kids playing ball. It was a highly satisfying experience for me as a filmmaker and an educator." Simon, who served as director, producer and editor of the film, said the crew consisted of graduate students in her "PBDS 639: Video Aesthetics & Techniques" class, plus one undergraduate student who lent her time and talents to the project. These students created short versions of the segments they worked on, which were shown on the scoreboard screen during inning breaks of last year's President's Cup championship game at Camden Yards. Local musician and composer David Zinzeleta wrote the music for the film. Jon Miller, who served as an Orioles play-by-play broadcaster from 1982 through 1996, is the film's narrator. Teams featured include Archbishop Curley, Boys' Latin, City, Cristo Rey, Digital Harbor, Dunbar, Friends, Gilman, Edmondson, MATHS, Mervo, Mount St. Joseph, Patterson, Poly, St. Frances and Southwestern.