Magic City Hustle
Film Year: 2019
Category: Documentary Achievement Award, Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award
**OPENING NIGHT FILM, KNIGHT MADE IN MIA AWARD COMPETITION – FEATURE FILM**
After you’ve tasted glory in college football, what comes next? This film follows several former players for the Miami Hurricanes who get an unexpected chance to turn pro. Only it’s not playing football. The Magic City Casino is starting a new team of jai alai — the sport popular in Latin America and nearly extinct in the U.S. Due to an obscure Florida law, the casino needs jai alai to keep its license.
We watch the former Canes try to adapt to the very different athletics of jai alai. It resembles racquet ball, only players wear long curved baskets (cestas) on their hands to hurl a goatskin ball against the wall at speeds up to 170 mph.
To use a baseball metaphor, the players are more Bad News Bears than The Natural. But there’s a poignancy to their efforts. Filmmaker Billy Corben has a deep knowledge and affection for Miami characters, demonstrated in films from Cocaine Cowboys to The U to Screwball (also playing at the Festival). He uses the story of the Magic City team to explore our contemporary gig economy, where everyone needs a hustle. But only in Miami could you make jai alai your hustle.
Saturday March 2nd @ 6:45 PM MDC’s Tower Theater Add to Schedule
Director: Billy Corben
Producer: Alfred Spellman, Billy Corben, Nicole Pritchet
Executive Producer: Scott Savin
Production Company: rakontur
Editor: Roderick Avila