tennis documentary


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Kate Dandel
Director/Producer • Scout Hill Productions

A creative instigator with a passion for compelling stories, Kate Dandel is an award-winning writer, producer, director and consultant. She was a recipient of 2016 SIFF/Aegis Living $50,000 Filmmaking Grant & a 2015 King County 4Culture Grant. She has also won numerous fiction writing awards.

Prior to focusing on writing and filmmaking, Kate worked for over ten years in marketing and consulting, serving a diverse slate of clients ranging from national healthcare systems, Fortune 500 companies, and regional nonprofit organizations. In addition to handling the direction, production, public relations, finance, logistics and events for GOLD BALLS, she managed a successful Kickstarter campaign and landed feature articles about the film in national publications.

In her community, Kate founded a popular family bulletin board with over 2,000 subscribers. She is an active community volunteer and enjoys spending time with her family.


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Amy Enser

An award-winning filmmaker, Amy’s documentary experience brings an innovative eye for authenticity to her narrative and corporate work. She has been prolific in Seattle, Washington since 2004 as a freelance editor, and worked from 2011 to 2015 with new media company Studio 216 as their Creative Director.

Film credits include, The Beast Inside (Seattle University Fellow, SIFF 2014), Dinner Dialogues Documentary Series (Bronze Telly Award, 2013), The Only Time We Have (KCTS 2013, 1 Reel Film Festival, SIFF 2013), C.B. (KCTS 2013, SIFF 2012), This is Ours (Dances With Films 2012), Welcome to Doe Bay (Regional Emmy Nominee 2014, KCTS 2013/14, SIFF “Best of Fest” 2012), Volunteer (Honolulu Film Awards Special Jury Prize 2012), History is Tradition (MOHAI Best Film in Open Category, 2011), Busking Cadenza (SIFF 2011), Modern Views (WA State SHPO Award for Historical Preservation 2011), Walk Right In (DocMiami 2010), A Healing Art (PBS POV 2009), The Heart is What Remains (Best Short, Local Sightings 2009), Ars Magna (National Emmy nominee 2009, PBS Documentary Spirit Award 2008).

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Catherine Grealish
Composer • Scout Hill Productions

Catherine Grealish is an award-winning LA-based composer for film, games, media and live performance. A multi-instrumentalist, she is a classical and jazz singer, and plays violin, piano, and guitar. Catherine recently won the Independent Music Vox Pop Award for her soundtrack for the film All Things Hidden. Catherine’s music has been featured in award-winning films, including the shorts The Last Light and Dressing Up. She has also scored many other independent films including The Last Buck Hunt, Citizen Heroes and All Things Hidden along with the popular web series Capitol Hill.

Her work for Didgeridoo and chamber orchestra "For Those Who Have Walked Ahead" premiered at Benaroya Recital Hall as part of Celebrate World Music in March 2013. Catherine’s orchestral work "Artist and The Muse" premiered in 2012. Catherine graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music at Cornish College of the Arts. She then achieved her Masters of Music from Boston University and also completed the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring program. Catherine is from Tasmania, Australia. She moved to the United States in 1998 to pursue a career in music.

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Andres Garreton

Andrés started his filmmaking journey when he purchased his first camera at age 12. He left his native Chile when he was 19 to travel the world and begin his career. With over 30 years in the entertainment industry shooting features, commercials, and television, Andrés is recognized not only for his work but mostly for what he brings as a human being. His leadership, commitment to excellence, unique visual style and passion for his work has earned him recognition and awards worldwide, including an EMMY for cinematography.

“I love my work and feel extremely passionate about communicating ideas, along with the endless possibilities to promote change and exchange between cultures and people in this world. As filmmakers and entertainers we certainly have an enormous responsibility to use our skills wisely.”

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Nathan Miller

Nate has acted as Cinematographer on numerous music videos, commercials and shorts. Nate worked as Second Unit Director of Photography on Megan Griffith's feature film LUCKY THEM (a Toronto Film Fest selection), Lynn Shelton's TOUCHY FEELY (a Sundance selection), and Megan Griffith's THE OFF HOURS (a Sundance selection and best cinematography nominee). In 2013, in addition to steady commercial work for corporate clients, he was Director of Photography for the web series ROCKETMEN, and shorts WHEN YOU WERE MINE and Mel Eslyn's THE NEXT STEP, an Official SIFF Selection.

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Heather Pilder Olson
Associate Producer / Social Media

Heather Pilder Olson recently wrote and directed the short film DATE STORIES, which was selected for the Northwest Film Forum’s Local Sightings Film Festival in 2014. She was a producer for the short film PEARL, and is currently producing the short film BLUE BUNNY. She has produced the short films WYATT STEPS OUT, CONVICTED, and MOOO, all of which were selected for festival screenings. Her screenwriting credits include DODGERS, BIRTH, and DATE STORIES, and the TV pilot CRACK THE WHIP. Heather is an alum of The Film School and Whitman College, and is also a wife, stepmother, sometime salsa dancer, and lover of macaroni and cheese. She does not play tennis, but was completely captivated by the players and stories in GOLD BALLS.

Q & A's WITH director/producer KATE dandel

Introduce yourself.

I'm Kate Dandel, the Director and Producer of GOLD BALLS. I grew up near Kalamazoo, Michigan, though I've lived in Seattle, Washington for the past 18 years, with a two year hiatus in Los Angeles somewhere in there. I have worked in marketing, consulting, and public policy and I believe that film is the most powerful medium we have today to engage in social and cultural critique and change. It's a very exciting time to be a part of the media landscape, there's amazing content and new forms and delivery systems are being developed every day.

What made you decide to do this film?

I’ve been intrigued by the questions at the heart of this film for quite a while. What it takes to become a champion. The psychological legacy we carry from our parents. I’m also quite obsessed with behavioral economics research and the growing body of work in the fields of mindset and happiness. I listen to way too many TED talks and read all of the popular behavioral economic authors like Dan Ariely, Martin Seligman, Malcom Gladwell, David Epstein, and Atul Gawande.

When I learned of this interesting subculture in tennis, I felt like it was an uncharted body of water in which to troll for insights about all of my passions. I’d also been writing narrative screenplays for a while, and was looking for an opportunity to make a film. So with this project, all of my passions conveniently coalesced.

Do you play tennis?

A little bit. Tennis was not available to me growing up. There weren’t public parks programs in my small town, and private clubs were beyond our means. I started playing in my 20s. I’ve since learned that many of the most accomplished senior competitors started even later than I did! I’m hoping to play even more tennis now that the film is complete.

What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Logistics. I filmed at tournaments in all four corners of the United States. Tournaments take place over 4-5 days, and you never know until the last minute if the players you are focusing on are going to win, get injured, or be unable to travel to the tournament for some reason. Finding a way to fund the travel, cover multiple matches on different courts, and then piece together the footage into a cohesive story was a challenge at every moment and on every level.

Plus, as a first time director, I was learning along the way. Another major challenge was the fact that tennis is difficult to film. The court is wide, the action sequences short and the players’ actively work to control their emotions.

There's lots of money in tennis so funding this project must have been easy, right?

Funding this project was far from easy! Is finding funding ever easy? With the help of many lovely people, I did a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production budget. My greatest champion and source of significant grant support came much later in the process, when the visionary leader of Aegis Senior Living saw the appeal of this inspirational story to a broad audience.

Are you insane? What makes you think people are interested in 80-year-old guys?

Um, have you heard of Bernie Sanders?

What do you want people to take away from the film?

My wish with GOLD BALLS is that it helps us understand how much control we have over our success and happiness at any age. While the title GOLD BALLS seems to celebrate winners, I hope people will see what I see; that becoming a “Champion” is not about pursuing a goal with single-minded dedication. It's about engaging in purposeful activity, building connections, and sharing our talents and enthusiasm to create a truly satisfying and contributory life. This means that we have more control over our own success and satisfaction than we think. Also, that growing older doesn’t have to result in our world shrinking. That’s an amazingly hopeful and uplifting idea.

Has anyone died during the making of GOLD BALLS?

Fortunately, the risks involved in filming 80-year-old tennis matches are minimal. No crew or participants were harmed in the making of GOLD BALLS. But, seriously, I suppose that this question is understandable given the age of our subjects. None of the main characters departed for “Wimbledon in the sky” during the making of the film. (That’s how Bob Sherman refers to the afterlife).

Alas, Vic Braden, the charming and generous “Pied Piper of Tennis” whom we interviewed in 2013 did pass away midway through the production. Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney , legendary Gold Ball record holder (she won an incomprehensible 394 Championships) also passed away a few months after we met her at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. And finally, we were honored to have met and filmed the charming Aussie Neville Halligan in Laguna a few months before he passed away.

What’s next for you?

I’m spending most of my time promoting GOLD BALLS, although I really need to work on my serve. I also have a few writing and producing projects in development.

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Gold Balls Movie
Gold Balls Movie
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Gold Balls Movie
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Gold Balls Movie