On baseball opening day, award-winning PBS series POV announced the acquisition of the Cuban baseball feature The Last Out, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sami Khan (St. Louis Superman) and Michael Gassert and produced by Gassert, Khan, and Jonathan Miller. The Last Out premiered at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Mention. Both the English and Spanish versions of the film will premiere on PBS as part of POV’s 35th season in October to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month and the start of the baseball playoffs.
Set amidst the migrant trail and the dark side of professional sports, The Last Out tells the inspiring story of Happy Oliveros, Carlos O. González, and Victor Baró, three Cuban baseball players who risk exile to train in Central America as they chase their dreams of playing in the Major Leagues. Filmed over more than four years, The Last Out focuses on people caught between countries who want nothing more than to make a better life for their families. The film is a co-production between Brew Media, Oscura Film, and Trogon Productions and received backing from the Sundance Institute, Rooftop Films, and The Gotham. On top of its honor at Tribeca, the film won the Audience Award at Hot Springs Documentary Festival, Grand Jury Prize at the Florida Film Festival, and Best Documentary at the Buffalo Film Festival, among others.
“Baseball is not just America’s pastime,” said Chris White executive producer at POV. “These young men are rooted in the game, yet their quest to get signed reveals the tenuous and tortured relationship between big league ball and the players sacrificing everything to get there. Baseball fan or not, you’ll be moved by the spirit and humanity in their stories.”
“As huge believers in public broadcasting, we are absolutely thrilled to partner with Erika Dilday, Chris, and the incredible team at American Documentary to bring The Last Out to a diverse, bilingual U.S. audience,” said Gassert, Khan, and Miller. “We were raised on PBS and are excited knowing that Happy, Carlos, and Victor’s powerful immigrant journeys will be showcased bilingually using the accessible, democratic, and inclusive features of POV’s reach. For 35 years, POV has been a beacon to non-fiction filmmakers and participants, and we are so thankful for the indispensable role it plays in the documentary world.”
White and Kristal Choy negotiated the deal on behalf of POV, while UTA and Drew Patrick worked on behalf of the filmmakers.