Keeping faith: Big baseball film to shoot here this summer

Spielberg's Lincoln may have headed back to the West Coast, but starting this summer, there'll be another major motion picture on location in Central Virginia. It's The Home Game, which borrows some of the formula that made the recent Courageous, with over $33 million in box office, so successful.

For starters, they've got one of the stars of that faith-based feature on board, Robert Amaya, as the sidekick to a yet-unannounced star in this hopefully heart-warming picture about a bunch of foster kids and the baseball team that looks after them.

"I'm calling up my Cuban roots," laughs Amaya, visiting a newspaper office in an early-January publicity tour.

The producers, who include husband-and-wife Durrell and Rebecca Rogers Nelson, who recently relocated to Albemarle from L.A.. For her, it's a return to her old stomping grounds because she went to Western Albemarle High School "100,000 years ago."

Beautiful Feet Productions plans to use some consulting skills of retired big-leaguer Billy Wagner and hopes to make an announcement about the young local baseball players they'll cast as extras in April, with an eye toward releasing the picture in early 2013.

Meanwhile, Charlottesville-based casting director Erica Arvold is also helping put together the pilot for a proposed kids' television show called "Time Machine Guitar," but the filming of that one has already passed.

In late January, the Nelsons got a piece of good news appropriate for the theme of the film when an L.A.-based adoption charity named Operation Children revealed that they'd be honored as Couple of the Year.

"It is a bit awkward to talk about an award for just living out what we believe," Durrell Nelson says in a release. "We decided to accept the award, not as recognition for our own lives, but to bring attention to the more than 500 thousand children who languish in the foster system waiting for forever families.”

–story updated January 19 with word of the award