Monday, March 15, 2010


This is difficult for me to talk about so I ask you take the time to read this note in its entirety. I had a heart attack and a delay in my right ventricular conduction, a septal myocardial infaction, and abnormal ECG in the way my heart is now beating choppy according to the tests. I don't want to freak out friends, God's got me, and I don't want to be dramatic but it has effected my decision regarding my movie on Roberto Clemente entitled "Baseball's Last Hero: The Roberto Clemente Story." I've had promises to fund 90% of a $3 million dollar budget evaporate from people playing games with me over these past months. Those misrepresenting themselves to be high net worth individuals did not come through as I hoped. There are many reasons why people dangle carrots in front of filmmakers to have access to their time and rub shoulders with Hollywood. My response to the doc's warning is that I've decided to stop waiting in limbo for the elusive rich man to make my movie for a big budget. My last feature was released in Blockbuster in April, 2008 and I can't afford to wait another two years.

The screenplay is written from my heart about my childhood hero. So far, I've received donations of cameras and a few dollars from friends for pre-production. My film will show the story of what Roberto had to go through overcoming prejudice and paving the way for other athletes. In my opinion, he was the greatest baseball player and a great humanitarian. I make biographical films and I’m an Academy Award considered filmmaker. (Best Short Doc Competition, 2001). My last film Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple McPherson Story, was the story of a 1920’s LA female evangelist. Rance Howard, father of director/actor Ron Howard from the Andy Griffith Show, plays Aimee’s father and does a wonderful job as did the entire cast.

My theme for the movie is “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.” Roberto sacrificed his life at age 38 in a mission of mercy taking relief to earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972, similar to the situation in Haiti. This project is my biggest challenge to date. I can’t do it alone, it's going to take a major league effort. I need help.
I've decided to make my movie guerrilla style (cast and crew who understand the low budget, and usage of stills and films of Roberto to supplement what we dramatize with actors) and work with whatever comes into our Clemente Film Foundation in the next 90 days. I have a plan in which every one of my friends can have the excitement of participation. It’s an opportunity for my friends to help tell a sports story with a spiritual message. This film will reach even more than “Sister Aimee” which is distributed by Maverick Entertainment into Blockbuster, Netflix, and Amazon. The Roberto Clemente Story will also be distributed worldwide. Let's hit a home run.

Here's the details on the benefits you will receive for participation, please read on:
For a tax deductible gift of

$1.00 or more
You receive a personal thank you from the director plus updates on the project

$10.00 or more
All of the above plus You receive a Thank You credit in the film, Access to my blog on which I will chronicle the process of making the film, (from script issues to editing to submitting to festivals and beyond)

$20.00 or more
All of the above plus You receive a signed DVD of "Baseball's Last Hero: The Roberto Clemente Story."

$50.00 or more
All of the above plus + an invitation to a screening of the first cut of the film, plus a chance to give me your comments which I will take into consideration while making the final edits. If you do not live close enough to a screening location (Hollywood, Pittsburgh) I will mail you a DVD so you can participate in the discussion.

$100.00 or more
All of the above plus + you also will receive a signed copy of the movie poster, and 2 tickets to a theatrical screening of the finished film.

$500.00 or more
All of the above plus + you also will receive an invitation to a Red Carpet screening of the film and after party in your choice of Hollywood or Pittsburgh, along with an "Associate Producer" credit in the film (which will appear on

$2000.00 or more
All of the above plus + Associate Producer credit is upgraded to a "Producer" credit in the film which will appear on, and you also will receive a Collector's Edition set of stills from Baseball's Last Hero: The Roberto Clemente Story, lunch with the director, and a cameo appearance in the director's next film.

$5000.00 or more
All of the above + Associate Producer credit is upgraded to an "Executive Producer" credit in the film which will appear on will also receive a signed Baseball's Last Hero: The Roberto Clemente Story tee-shirt, baseball glove signed by director and others, and a rare Clemente souvenir (choice of Clemente bobblehead or desk statue or other vintage souvenir from Director's private collection)

$10,000 or more
All of the above plus + you will also receive a CD of the film soundtrack(signed by composers), a signed DVD of Richard Rossi's last feature Sister Aimee, dinner for four and attending a Dodgers or Pirates game with Director Richard Rossi.

$25,000 or more
All of the above plus + you will also receive a copy of the book "The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero," a visit to a Roberto Clemente museum with Richard Rossi guiding your tour and discussing anything you like over dinner after, a nylon-string Latin flamenco guitar used in the film soundtrack autographed my musicians, and a vacation trip for you and a guest (paid roundtrip airfare and four nights hotel) to beautiful Puerto Rico with its beaches, golf resorts, culinary delights and music.

Send you gifts now by email. Go to and send to the email Add a note "For Clemente Movie" and be sure to include your name and best mailing address for rewards to be shipped when they are ready. If you would prefer to mail a check, make your check payable to "Eternal Grace," (write on the memo line "Clemente Film Foundation" and mail to: Clemente Film Foundation, Attention: Richard Rossi, 5030 Whitsett Avenue, Suite One, North Hollywood, CA 91607

I want you to have an ironclad guarantee. I will post a tally of how the funds are coming in over the next 90 days that will be updated regularly. If I don't receive enough money in the next 90 days to make the movie, I will send back all the money you give. I want you to know that I can do what I say I can do. I've proved I can make an artistic film with a moving message on a limited amount of money. I've been blessed with many friends who stepped up to the plate as cast and crew and volunteered their time, talent, and energy to make my last movie a success. I couldn't have done it without the prayers and help from family and friends. Here are two links to a trailer and a scene from my last biographical film I wrote, directed, acted in, and composed some music (made for under $10,000) entitled "Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple McPherson Story." Click these links below to watch videos of my work:
Scene from my last movie:
Trailer from my last movie:

You can visit the film website for "Baseball's Last Hero: The Roberto Clemente Story": The Clemente Film Foundation is a movie ministry of Eternal Grace, a 501c3 non-profit corporation in good standing with the IRS.


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