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American Pastime - Inspiring Film About Japanese Americans' Love of Country, Family, Jazz and Baseball -- Premieres May 22 on Warner Home Video DVD.

BURBANK, Calif. -- American Pastime -- a powerful, inspiring drama revealing a rarely considered side of the World War II Japanese American experience -- will be seen for the first time when Warner Home Video presents it on DVD May 22. From filmmaker Desmond Nakano (Boulevard Nights, Last Exit to Brooklyn) and set against the background of the 1940's U.S. internment camps, the film weaves a rich story of a Japanese-American father and his two sons, whose love of family, country, music and the game of baseball help them find the strength to survive indignity and injustice. The DVD, which will include a making-of featurette and theatrical trailer, will sell for $19.98 SRP.

American Pastime takes viewers into the lives of the Japanese American community at a time when their very foundations were shaken to the core. Adding elements of humor, romance and action, the film is based on the true events of World War II's U.S. home front, where nearly a quarter of a million Japanese Americans, though citizens of this country, were uprooted from their homes and placed in remote internment camps because of a perceived security threat. The film's story centers around one family in Utah's Topaz camp where the interned community ironically uses baseball, for decades a part of the Japanese American fabric, as a way to rise above their daily hardships and adversity.

Gary Cole (HBO's upcoming "12 Miles of Bad Road," Talladega Nights, Office Space) stars in American Pastime, which also features Leonardo Nam (The Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, Vantage Point), Aaron Yoo (Disturbia, TV's "Bedford Diaries"), Masatoshi Nakamura (famed Japanese actor and singer), Judy Ongg Nakano (renowned international performer) and Sarah Drew (TV's "Everwood," Radio) and Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite).


Kaz Nomura (Masatoshi Nakamura) and his wife Emi (Judy Ongg) stoically struggle to maintain a normal life after being forcibly relocated to an internment camp in the remote town of Abraham, Utah.

Older brother Lane Nomura, determined to prove his loyalty, enlists in the U.S. Army's celebrated 442nd Regimental Combat Team. His brother Lyle is a musician and a baseball superstar who's embittered when his chance to attend college on a full baseball scholarship is cut short by the War. Lyle soon meets Katie Burrell (Sarah Drew), daughter of camp guard Billy Burrell (Gary Cole), and the two teenagers begin a romance. When the romance between Katie and Lyle is discovered, the Burrells and the Nomuras find themselves at odds with each other, even though they're on the same side of the war.

Billy Burrell, a man whose dream is one more shot at the big leagues, is a star of the minor league baseball club, the Abraham Bees. If not for the war, baseball is a passion he could have shared with Kaz and his sons, who also play for the love of the game.

To show the town of Abraham their fighting spirit, the camp residents propose a baseball game between Billy's team and the Topaz camp's squad and both sides square off in a contest. An unusual wager is proposed, the stakes of which are a large sum of money for the locals; dignity and honor for the Japanese Americans. The internment camp families unite behind their team, determined to show that they, too, are patriotic Americans. And through the all-American pastime of baseball, the town of Abraham and the Topaz detainees discover that they're really not that different after all - they're both Americans who share the same values, even when a war almost tears them apart.


American Pastime screenplay is by Desmond Nakano & Tony Kayden. Barry Rosenbush, who executive produced the 6-time Emmy-nominated hit "High School Musical," produced along with Tom Gorai and Terry Spazek. David Skinner and Arata Matsushima are executive producers and Kerry Yo Nakagawa, associate producer. American Pastime is a Warner Home Video presentation of a T & C Pictures, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, Rosy Bushes production of a Desmond Nakano film.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 20, 2007
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