Heading Home, a documentary on the Israeli team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, is turning to Kickstarter to raise funding so that they can follow Team Israel in Seoul, South Korea, this March.
Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger are Ironbound Films and they were able to raise the funds they needed to follow Team Israel as many of the players visited the Jewish state for the first time.
“Without our supporters on Kickstarter, it will be very difficult for us to complete HEADING HOME,” Newberger said in an email. “All our energy is focused on meeting our goal!”
This film wouldn’t have even been possible if it were not for MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo.
“MLB reporter Jonathan Mayo was essential in organizing the trip to Israel for us and the Jewish MLB players,” Newberger said. “He has strong relationships with all the players and the Israel Association of Baseball. Without him the trip simply wouldn’t have happened.”
Mayo has been interested in baseball’s Jewish players since before his teenage years. He started to organize the trip to Israel for the players as soon as the team beat Great Britain during the September qualifier in Brooklyn.
Players from Team Israel appearing in Heading Home include Ike Davis, Sam Fuld, Ryan Lavarnway, Cody Decker, Ty Kelly, Josh Zeid, Jon Moscot, Corey Baker, and Jeremy Bleich. Also appearing in the documentary are Joc Pederson, Gabe Kapler, Brad Ausmus, Kevin Youkilis, Ian Kinsler, and Nate Freiman. For many players on the team, it was their first trip to Israel.
“All three directors at Ironbound Films have lived in and traveled extensively throughout Israel,” Newberger said. “But experiencing the country with a team of professional American athletes—none of whom had never been there before—made us see it completely anew. There were a lot of laughs and emotion. We can’t wait to share the film and trip with everyone.”
Mayo wrote about the trip in the Jewish Chronicle.
The Israel Baseball Association and Jeff Aeder sponsored the trip but Mayo went on the trip to help make the documentary film.
The money from supporters on Kickstarter is expected to help fund “travel to Seoul for the production team, local crew fees and production expenses” as well as editing the footage.
With 17 days to go, 98 backers have pledged $15,330 of the $72,000 goal.