The Last Out

Three young Cuban baseball players leave their families and risk exile to train in Central America and chase their dreams of playing in the Major Leagues. Filmed over more than four years, THE LAST OUT tells the very human story of people caught between countries who want nothing more than to make a better life for their families.

  • Sami Khan
    Director
    St. Louis Superman
  • Michael Gassert
    Director
  • Michael Gassert
    Producer
  • Jonathan Miller
    Producer
    Gimme The Loot
  • Sami Khan
    Producer
    St. Louis Superman
  • Happy Oliveros
    Key Cast
    "as Himself"
  • Carlos O. González
    Key Cast
    "as Himself"
  • Victor Baró
    Key Cast
    "as Himself"
  • Carla Gutierrez
    Edited By
    When Two Worlds Collide
  • Mark Becker
    Edited By
    Art & Craft
  • Saul Simon MacWilliams
    Music By
  • Billy Libby
    Music By
  • Doc & Rio Festival Agency
    Festival Agent
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    El Último Out
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Sport, Direct Cinema
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 27 minutes 11 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 16, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.35:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Tribeca Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    World Premiere
    Jury Mention
  • Rooftop Films
    New York
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
    Hot Springs, CA
    United States
    October 17, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Heartland Film Festival
    Indianapolis, IN
    United States
    October 8, 2020
    Official Selection
  • San Diego Film Festival
    San Diego, CA
    United States
    October 15, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Newburyport Documentary Film Festival
    Newburyport, MA
    United States
    Official Selection
  • New Horizons Film Festival
    Wroclaw
    Poland
    November 5, 2020
    International Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Buffalo Film Festival
    Buffalo, NY
    United States
    October 8, 2020
    Best Documentary
  • Trinidad & Tobago International Film Festival (ttiff)
    Port of Spain
    Trinidad and Tobago
    September 22, 2021
    Caribbean Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Virginia Film Festival
    Charlottesville, VA
    United States
    October 21, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Naples Film Festival
    Naples, Florida
    United States
    October 22, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Forest City Film Festival
    London, Ontario
    Canada
    October 21, 2020
    Canadian Premiere
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • United Talent Agency
    Sales Agent
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Sami Khan, Michael Gassert

SAMI KHAN (director/producer) is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose work has been supported by the Sundance and Tribeca Film Institutes, Impact Partners, Rooftop Films, IFP, the Berlinale, and NBC/Universal’s Directors Fellowship. His films have screened at leading festivals including Tribeca, Toronto, Hot Docs, and Mumbai. Sami’s most recent film is the short documentary ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN (with Smriti Mundhra). The film was nominated for a 2020 Academy Award and won prizes at Tribeca, Hot Docs, Big Sky, Traverse City, AFI Docs, and Indy Shorts.

MICHAEL GASSERT (director/producer) is an immersive producer, director, sound artist, and musician who revels in the diversity of our global treasures while working at the intersections of film and music. His documentary and archival work is supported by IFP, Sundance Institute, UNESCO, and The Kennedy Center. Michael has produced recordings with Ornette Coleman, Jason Moran, The Master Musicians of Jajouka, Patti Smith, Flea, Perry Farrell, and Mango Ghost. Notable sound mixing credits include BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, ANOTHER EARTH, CIRCUMSTANCE, CASUALTIES OF THE GRIDIRON and DANGEROUS ACTS Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Production on THE LAST OUT began the summer of 2014 as we began to investigate the harrowing stories of Cuban baseball players seeking careers in the United States. As the son of immigrants, there was something in their incredible journeys that deeply affected me.
After four months of research and persistent follow-up we eventually gained access to Gus Dominguez, a Cuban American agent who “invented” the market for Cuban baseball players, in the words of Michael Lewis. In 2010, Gus had also been convicted of smuggling players into the United States and was incarcerated for four years. When Gus mentioned that he was representing a new group of Cuban ballplayers in Costa Rica we jumped at the opportunity to tell their stories. After meeting with Happy, Carlos, Baró and the other players in San Jose we saw a group of athletes at the cusp of signing. But as the months and years wore on, a story that started out with so much promise began to turn tragic.
Presidents Obama and Castro announced sweeping changes in US-Cuba relations in December 2014 and we were well situated to take the story and run with it. Now, more than five years later, the stories of Happy, Carlos, and Baró are going to seen by the world.
Intimacy is something that we also sought to achieve with our verité filmmaking. We shot the vast majority of the film on vintage prime lenses which force us, the filmmakers, to constantly earn the trust of our participants’. We also relied on our cinematic heroes for inspiration, filmmakers like Barbara Kopple, Feras Feyyad, Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine.
The heart of our film explores how athletes of color are dehumanized and commodified by the system of professional sports. Our subjects are three young players fighting for agency in their lives in the face of a corporate machine that only sees and treats them as products. In an age of increasing brutality, that struggle for dignity is something everyone, regardless of background can relate to. THE LAST OUT also offers an unprecedented window into an incredible moment in the lives of Cubans as the world was shifting under their feet. We were on the ground to document our characters’ reactions to historic news (which began with the opening to Cuba fostered by Raul Castro and Obama in December 2014) but we were always focused on the impact on them, as people. We hope audiences will connect deeply with our characters and gain an invaluable perspective into the lives of young Cubans. Our film has a special resonance with Cubans and other migrants who have first-hand experience with the journeys our film chronicles. At a time when immigrants are under constant attack by powerful institutions, we feel an important duty to champion their stories.