Hardball: The Girls of Summer follows five women of the US Women’s National Baseball team as they battle for recognition and a gold medal in the Women’s Baseball World Cup in South Korea. Over the course of two years, the film follows the stories of the players, their challenges, and the major turning points on the road to inclusion for women in America’s Pastime.
The film is directed by Matthew Temple and narrated by Olympic gold medalist and ESPN broadcast announcer Jessica Mendoza.
Hardball: The Girls of Summer will be released on iTunes and Digital VOD platforms September 24, 2019. The film will have its theatrical premiere at the Women Sports Film Festival in San Francisco on September 28, 2019 followed by the European premiere at the FICTS Film Festival in Milan Italy, Oct 25-30, 2019.
Though over 100,000 girls play youth baseball, most are pushed to play softball in high school and beyond. In the era of TIME’S UP, Hardball: The Girls of Summer digs into the world of girls and women who play baseball, as they fight gender norms and discrimination for the right to play baseball.
Temple said, “It has been a true honor to be able to tell the story of these amazing women and their fight to play baseball. And to be able to document such a pivotal time period in the story of women and girls in baseball was a gift.”
Along with Mendoza, the film also features Sonoma County resident Francis Ford Coppola, members of the Sonoma Stompers baseball team, including Stacy Piagno and Kelsie Whitmore. Additionally, members of the original AAGPBL (made famous by the movie A League of Their Own), Ila Borders, and Kim Ng (the highest-ranking woman in MLB) appear in the film.
Francis Ford Coppola, an avid supporter of women in baseball, said of the film, “Excellent! Very well done.” Billie Jean King, a major advocate for equality in sports and who has been a supporter of the film said, “An important film. I could see myself in this story.”
Jessica Mendoza, narrator and Olympic athlete, said “I loved playing softball and baseball, and I can’t imagine being told I wasn’t allowed to play, but so many girls who play baseball are told exactly that. I know this film can make a difference for those young athletes and I’m honored to be part of telling their story.”
Matthew Temple, grew up and spent most of his life in California, though his work and passion has led him living around the globe. He has produced and/or directed dozens of projects from studio and independent feature films, to content for major brands and short form documentaries. Recently, he has been working with young creatives in Kenya, offering storytelling and filmmaking workshops to aspiring creatives with limited means and resources. He is the founder and president of a non-profit organization, co-founder of the Wandering Reel Traveling Film Festival and runs the blog “Dude, Let’s Talk!” Hardball: The Girls of Summer marks his debut as a feature documentary director.
Written and Directed by Matthew Temple
Produced by Jewel Greenberg, Matthew Temple
Narrated by Jessica Mendoza
Music by Adrian Lee
Director of Photography Ellington Tynes
Edited by Kinga Orlikowska
Distributed by Vertical Entertainment
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