SOURCE: Ocean Parkway Productions LLC

April 24, 2013 06:18 ET

Announcing "Extra Innings," a 1960's-based Film Raising Awareness for Mental Health

Film Producers Start Fundraising Campaign to Launch Project

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - April 24, 2013) -  Growing up is hard to do, especially in the early 1960's in a strict religious community in Brooklyn, NY. This is the backdrop for the film Extra Innings. Based on a true story, it was written by Albert Dabah, a video producer for over 30 years and owner of Simba Productions. Following the successful opening weekend of fellow baseball-themed period film 42, Albert is gearing up to direct his debut film at just the right time.

Ocean Parkway Productions announced today the release of its Indiegogo campaign to start pre-production on Extra Innings. Through Indiegogo, fans and supporters can contribute funds toward beginning principal photography on the project. For their generosity, contributors who match targeted pledge amounts will be eligible for exclusive rewards such as tickets to a 2013 Yankees home game, a visit to the film set and film premiere, VIP invitations to join cast and crew at an exclusive suite during a Yankees home game, plus T-shirts, signed scripts and advance copies of the Blu-ray™/DVD. Producers will also be donating 5% of contributions to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation to promote "Mental Health Month" in May.

Extra Innings is a character-driven film that explores the difficulties our protagonist, David, encounters when trying to branch out from his community and religious family to pursue his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. There are moments of great loss and great triumph, as the film also revolves around a family evolving together while dealing with mental illness and tragedy.

"I read scripts all the time, that's what I do. I never cry. This script made me cry, it was really beautiful," says Adrienne Stern, a casting director with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience who has recently signed on to cast Extra Innings. Her films have premiered at Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Tribeca, Berlin, South by Southwest, and other prominent film festivals, many taking home prestigious rewards.

Extra Innings is a New York story that deals with universal issues such as struggles between parents and children, pursuing your dreams, religion and adolescent love. It also touches upon mental illness, and highlights how the stigma of mental illness is extremely debilitating and prevents adequate care from reaching families and individuals who need it.

"Like many, my life has personally been affected by mental illness. I grew up with two older siblings who struggled with their mental health. My brother suffered from schizophrenia and my sister from bipolar disorder. In the 1960's, it was not something that was spoken about, either out of fear or shame. I lost both siblings to suicide. These two great heartbreaks forever changed the person I would become," reveals Extra Innings writer Albert Dabah.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. It is our job as a society to come together in open dialogue to help erase the stigma of mental illness and suicide. For over 60 years, Mental Health America has considered May "Mental Health Month" to drive attention to these issue and support a path to wellness.

"Along with entertaining people and telling a good story, I'm hoping this film can open a dialogue and aid in spreading awareness about the stigma of mental illness and suicide," Albert says, "Even in the most trying circumstances, it is important to speak up and take action on behalf of those we love."

The Indiegogo campaign features three scenes that were filmed from the Extra Innings script and a short video where Albert speaks about why he is making this film. Beyond its Indiegogo campaign for Extra Innings, Ocean Parkway Productions will be seeking investors to back the production of the film and fund the project.

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Embedded Video Available: http://youtu.be/2rJMOywDHgs

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