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Filmmakers Turn Their Lens to Our City

The offerings at the day-long screening of D.C.-based documentaries include "The Tivoli: A Neighborhood Landmark Reborn," "Ready to Play," and "Blue Line: Destination Christylez."Clips courtesy directors Walter Gottlieb, Jennifer Crescenzo, and Gemal WoodsDirector's Cut (Post, Feb. 3, 2008)

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Interviews by Joe Heim
Sunday, February 3, 2008

JENNIFER CRESCENZO 32, Columbia Heights

Documentary: "Ready to Play" (2007), a thoroughly absorbing look at the changing Glover Park neighborhood as seen through the prism of the Glover Park Co-Ed Softball League and the man who founded it, the filmmaker's father.

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When did you start making films?

I began making films as an undergraduate at Notre Dame. I actually aspired to be a print journalist. But I ended up taking a film theory class. . . . I started out thinking I was interested in film theory and then discovered that I was more interested in practice than theory.

What was the first movie you made about?

In film school, my first 16mm short film was called "Full Frontal," and it was a meditation on gender and sexuality based in part on my experiences working as an artist's model.

Why did you decide to make a movie about your dad's softball league?

Whenever I mentioned the Glover Park softball league, people were always really curious about it. I would mention a funny story about a player or a team, and people would always ask questions and want to hear more stories. So eventually I hit on the idea of making a film about Glover Park using the softball league as a "lens" through which to see the community.

What was your budget?

Wow . . . the most difficult question! I can tell you that I raised about $35,000 for hard costs like paying a cinematographer, editor, sound designer. . . . If I had to estimate, based on what I raised and in-kind donations, I'd guess the real cost to make the film was between $75,000 and $100,000.

You played for your dad. What's the best advice he gave you as a player?

Hmmm. My dad doesn't give advice so much as he yells it. He has a tendency to give you some piece of advice about where you should hit the ball right before you step up to the plate, and that can be a little distracting. I've had at-bats when I was thinking so hard about placing the ball where my dad wanted it that I just popped it right up!

Do you miss the Glover Park you lived in as a kid?

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