Certificates of Merit: SPORT FOR HOPE
- David Picker (USA), A shared pastime - NBC
The Fukushima Red Hopes, owned and managed by former Major League Baseball player Akinori Iwamura, don’t attract large crowds and their games aren’t broadcast on national television, but what they represent holds great meaning in Japan. The semi-professional baseball team was formed after an earthquake in 2011 caused a tsunami that killed 18,000 people and triggered a nuclear disaster in Fukushima. Having baseball back in their lives has given the people of Fukushima a renewed sense of hope. A Shared Pastime uses both originally shot and archival footage to tell the story of the Hopes’ in the greater context of baseball’s historical power to bond us and to heal us on both sides of the Pacific as the United States and Japan’s shared national pastime. The feature was produced by David Picker for NBC’s broadcast of the Olympics where baseball made its return to the Games after a 13-year hiatus.