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2017 Virginia Film Fest EXCLUSIVE: Special Guest John Lee Hancock

Sports films are some of the most celebrated stories that exist in the world of cinema. Don't believe me? Well, look to films such as FIELD OF DREAMS, RUDY, and HOOSIERS, and tell me otherwise. Often telling stories of underdogs overcoming unimaginable adversity, these films inspire many of us to be resilient and courageous in the face of life's challenges. With that said, I was fortunate to speak with the director of one such film, THE ROOKIE.

Directed by John Lee Hancock, the film tells the true life story of Jim Morris, who let go of his dreams for a career in professional baseball after a shoulder injury twelve years ago. However, after agreeing to go to a professional baseball tryout if his team won their championship, the then high school chemistry teacher and baseball coach, surprised skeptical scouts by throwing pitches at nearly 100 miles per hour. Released in 2002, Hancock was on hand at the festival as a special guest to celebrate the film's 15 year anniversary. Having had a father & siblings play football growing up, I asked Texas-born Hancock if it a played a role in his decision to make the film back then. See what he had to say on the matter in the exclusive interview featured below...

Edited by Brandon Troy

Camera Work by Jerome Bourgeois

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