Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story

Year: 2018
Country: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 88 minutes

Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story
Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story
Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story
Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story

In 1955 the southern United States was divided by segregation and brimming with hatred and prejudice. Enter the Pensacola Jaycees All-Stars, the first African-American little league team in Florida. White parents didn’t want their kids playing against black kids, and they complained to league leaders. However, the league ruled in favor of the Jaycees: white teams either played them or forfeited. And forfeit is exactly what they did—every team, every game. So, by default, the Jaycees became district champions and headed to Orlando for the state tournament. Once again they met resistance. Despite approving players and parents, the coach for the opposing Orlando Kiwanis wouldn’t play the Jaycees and quit. Luckily, the assistant coach stepped up and made history. More than 60 years later, they’re reunited in LONG TIME COMING: A 1955 BASEBALL STORY—a compelling documentary highlighting the cultural significance of their matchup. Through gripping interviews, the film also reveals their varying perspectives on the racial turmoil of then and now. This impactful film is a sobering testament to how far we’ve come in America, but how far we still have to go. —E.F.

CIFF43 Screenings

Friday, April 05, 2019 at 6:15 PM

Sunday, April 07, 2019 at 9:15 AM

African Diaspora
Race Relations
The Sports Section

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition


Jon Strong

Jon Strong has spent the past 11years directing films that have reached hundreds of millions of people, as well as directing and editing both original and advertising-based projects. His most successful work is The Thank You Project, which has more than 150 million views online and was featured on The Today Show. Strong is in the process of making a documentary about the stories of Iraqi and Syrian refugees.


Ted Haddock, John King, Tighe Arnold, James Spradlin

Christopher S. Towle

Jon Strong, Drew Tearpak

Hank Aaron, Carl Ripkin Jr., Gary Sheffield, Davey Johnson, Andrew Young

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