Above: Tyree Bastidas(left) and Vic Paravati(right) at the U.S. Open Of Handball in California.
Tyree Bastidas, featured player and V.B.Paravati, director/producer, during the course of filming HANDBALLER.
During the years of 2008 through 2012, photojournalist V. B . Paravati, documented the life of handball phoneme and star Tyree Bastidas. Paravati set out to make, in unflinching detail, an original and out of the box sports documentary about one of civilized man's most ancient, yet least known sports--as seen through the eyes of one of the games greatest pro players, Tyree Bastidas.
"This film has tremendous range. I wanted it to be an artistic and poetic representation of an amazing person...not your typical sorts documentary, as Tyree is not your typical athlete", states Paravati. I want it to be a film focused on a human beings development both mentally and physically, as well as watching him grow emotionally. I want it to be a film for general consumption, not so much glorifying the sport or those involved in it, but focusing on an athlete coming of age and his determination to reach his personal goals." This is where a midnight movie meets the sports documentary", adds Paravati.
"We have done a lot of hard work, we are now faced with another phase of financing and a grueling edit schedule."
By intensely saturating and documenting Bastidas' life, Paravati wanted to "get into the head" of what it takes to become such a superior athlete...an athlete that sacrifices his body and well being for the pure joy of playing the sport. "Mostly trophies and very little prize money accents Tyree's dedication to the game.", says Paravati, "He might be one the world's last pure athletes, untainted by big sports money, greed and over-production...his dedication is not marred by commercialism...it is highly personal."
Bastidas, a top ranked open player in all three disciplines, One Wall,Three Wall and Indoor Four Wall, is covered in over 30 tournaments both nationally and internationally by Paravati and his crew.. With over three hundred hours of footage and approximately 500,000 photographs assembled over the past five years, Paravati claims "this is the most coverage and uncompromising view of any athlete documented to date in film history." Covering Bastidas' family, friends, loves and co-players, forms an unprecedented look at what it takes to become the best.
Tyree's documented history from junior player to the men's open circuit, presents an unparalleled look at experiencing a boy becoming a man and the development of his character. This inside view is nothing less then sensational--a seminal piece on the sport-- witnessing the growth of one of the world's finest athletes.
Bastidas, seems to be a combination of John McEnroe and Dennis Rodman, a player with range--from the troubling vocal outbursts on the court to the silent execution of a grand master are documented. Altering his look (hair color and overall appearance) during the course of filming added another interesting dimension, garnering the curiosity and gossip of his contemporaries. "There are always haters and trash talkers" claims Tyree, " it just comes with the territory--I am who I am."
During the course of the production, Paravati follows Bastidas in the United States and Europe, concluding five years of principle photography with Bastidas' most recent wins in Dublin, Ireland... slamming The World's in the Men's Open Small Ball Singles and Doubles.
"I grew to admire Tyree", says Paravati. "He has an exceptional and unwavering dedication to the sport and to his goals and his identity."
Bastidas is quoted in the film saying, "I just wanted to be a fact...the greatest handball player that ever lived." And so he is.
HANDBALLER, is due for the festival circuit in 2013 and 2014 with a scheduled general release in late 2014.