Historic Reunion Set for Geena Davis’s Bentonville Film Festival as Associate Members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League Will Appear Alongside Geena Davis and Rosie O’Donnell in “A League of Their Own” Celebratory Softball Game
Former Women’s Professional Baseball Players Gina Casey and Alice Fracasso Will Return to the Baseball Diamond at Naturals Stadium on May 7th
Bentonville, AR (April 30, 2015) – A historic reunion will take place at Geena Davis’s upcoming Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), when Gina Casey and Alice Fracasso, join Geena Davis and Rosie O’Donnell on the baseball diamond at Arvest Park, home of the minor league baseball team, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, on Thursday, May 7.
Sisters Gina Casey (85) and Alice Fracasso (90) are associate members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) – the women’s professional baseball league (1943-1954) that inspired the beloved 1992 film “A League of Their Own,” starring Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Tom Hanks, Lori Petty and Madonna, and directed by Penny Marshall.
Fans in attendance will be treated to a truly iconic moment as Casey and Fracasso will be special guests for a BFF softball game that will feature two teams managed by their big screen counterparts – Geena Davis and Rosie O’Donnell.
Country music star Sara Evans will be on hand to sing the national anthem while two-time Olympic medalist and women’s softball icon Jennie Finch and Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon will be among the players suiting up for the game.
There will be an outdoor evening screening of “A League of Their Own” at the stadium following the game.
Said Davis, “The BFF exists to champion women and diversity and what better way to showcase this than to welcome two amazing women who were part of something remarkable that broke barriers and ushered in new opportunities for women in this country. Their continued pursuits to keep the stories alive and to keep women playing baseball (and all sports) are an inspiration for me personally, and for the ongoing BFF initiative.”
Davis added, “Talk about a softball game for the ages! This will be so much fun – and just so everyone knows, there is no way may team is losing to Rosie’s team.”
Gina Casey and Alice Fracasso played for the Riverside Townies in Rhode Island from 1944 to 1945. Gina, once a second baseman, and Alice, a former catcher, were part of a group of Townies teammates that were scouted to attend a two-week tryout for the AAGPBL. Five of the ladies on their team were drafted and one of them was Alice.
The Riverside Townies were City and State Champs from 1944-1951. They lost the championship in 1952 and then won it back in 1953.
The sisters were inspired by the new opportunity presented for women and remained active with the AAGPL and the positive overarching message the league was sending to young women. They have been active associate members of the AAGPBL for 21 years (Gina) and 24 years (Alice).
Representing the AAGPBL, Gina and Alice have made appearances at events such as the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Golf Tournament, B.A.D.: Baseballers Against Drugs Auction, the World Children’s Baseball five-day baseball camp, the Twelve Black Aces Golf Tournament, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Special Olympics and the Charity Auction for Desert Storm.
Most recently, Gina received an award: ‘Most Outstanding Associate Member’ for years of dedication and service. Along with raising funds for the association, the sisters work to keep the story of women playing in baseball alive. They currently reside in Grove, Oklahoma.
For more information on the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), please visit http://www.aagpbl.org/
The complete schedule of BFF events, including dates, times, venue locations and ticket information can be found on the BFF website www.bentonvillefilmfestival.com
About the Bentonville Film Festival
BFF is a one-of-a-kind event designed to champion women and diversity in film, and is the first and only film competition in the world to offer guaranteed theatrical, television, digital, VOD and retail home entertainment distribution for its winning films. BFF distribution partners are AMC Theatres (theatrical), Lifetime (TV), Vubiquity (Video on Demand), VUDU (digital) and Walmart (in-store home entertainment / DVD).
BFF is hosted by ARC Entertainment, Walmart, Coca-Cola and AMC Theatres, and is co-founded and chaired by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis, whose research institute, “The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media” has sponsored the largest amount of research ever done on gender depictions in entertainment media, covering a 20+ year span. Davis has pioneered the use of rigorous research combined with direct advocacy and education to leading entertainment industry creators and decision makers, causing a sea change in the quality and quantity of female characters on screen.
Following the debut of BFF, the Bentonville Film Foundation as part of the Bentonville Film Festival initiative will launch a year-round event calendar to promote women and minority filmmakers, artists, directors, and producers at colleges and universities around the country in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is the official non-profit partner of the festival.
BFF Advisory Board members include a number of notable actors and filmmakers such as Angela Bassett, Nick Cannon, Viola Davis, Bruce Dern, Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson, Randy Jackson, Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore, Paula Patton, Natalie Portman, Shonda Rhimes, M. Night Shyamalan, and Shailene Woodley.
Walmart is the proud founding sponsor of the Bentonville Film Festival and its investment ensures it is unlike any other nationwide. As the largest seller of DVD and Blu-Ray movies, Walmart is always looking for new and compelling content to offer the 140 million customers who shop their stores each week. That’s why, for the first time, the winners of three categories – Jury Selection, Audience Award and Best Family Film – are guaranteed distribution in Walmart stores and online through its instant video demand service VUDU.
Walmart’s support of the Bentonville Film Festival was made in large part due to its focus on women and minority filmmakers. Empowering women and supporting diversity are two key company initiatives which Walmart has long supported, because the retailer believes it is the right thing to do and important in being a successful business. The festival is also a great opportunity for the retailer to showcase Northwest Arkansas, one of the country’s best-kept secrets.
Coca-Cola values and celebrates diversity in both its consumers and associates. Diversity is more than policies and practices. Inclusion, respect, unity and fairness are values applied across the business and are integral to how the Company operates and views the future.
Coca-Cola understands the importance of women and minorities in spurring economic growth and cultivating sustainable development. Empowering them to succeed is a global focus for Coca-Cola and supporting the Bentonville Film Festival helps further the Company’s commitment to fostering diversity. Plus, with an inextricable link between Coca-Cola and the movie-going experience, this distinctive festival provides another great opportunity to refresh movie fans.
For more information on the festival please visit www.bentonvillefilmfestival.com
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