: Documentary
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


Arête is a story about Mr. Taylor, the winningest  high school track coach in California, and his teaching philosophy, Arête, which means physical and intellectual excellence in Greek.


Mr. Taylor has been coaching track at Drake High School for 30 years and won more championships than other coach in the league. His successful methodology is Arête, a Greek word for excellence. Through the combination of rigorous training, intense after school academic studies, and an international trip where the students apply their athletic prowess and studies, the Arête students understand their own excellence. 


I was inspired to tell this story because Mr. Taylor is a rare individual, who is a teacher, coach, philosopher, and has left a lifelong impression on his students. To me, there is always that one teacher who you never forget, and Mr. Taylor is that guy. Taylor's ability to turn kids into athletes, to make learning fun, to push his students beyond their comfort zone so they can achieve their own personal greatness is a noble gift to those fortunate enough to experience his tutelage. This film is meant to illustrate what Arete is and how it works. To understand Arete is to see Mr. Taylor and his students in action. The story follows Taylor and his Arête students through the 2007 Arête track season, the Arete studies, and a five week international trip to Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Germany. The filming is complete, and I now need funds for all post production costs. My goal is to raise enough money to complete the film by 2013. 


Jenn Nelson - Director

 Jennifer is a filmmaker based in New York City. A visual artist and story- teller, Jennifer works as a director or director of photography. She aspires to reveal our world with compelling imagery, with stories that incise triumph and despair.


Jennifer’s entrance to the film world followed an unconventional path. Subsequent to graduating with honors from U.C. Berkeley with a B.S. in Sociology and minor in Creative Writing, she pursued her passion for mountain biking and became a professional downhill racer on the televised Chevy National circuit. She competed in the inaugural ESPN X-Games, as well as specialty events on CBS.


In addition to racing, Jennifer was developing her story telling skills by writing sports stories for magazines and websites. At the height of her racing career, Jennifer was introduced to film and hired to be a stunt double in the IMAX film Everest, appearing in the dramatic opening sequence of the film. She was also featured as talent in an adventure series called Adventure Quest for OLN (now VS) and rode her bike to Mt. Everest Base Camp for a one- hour documentary.


Jennifer retired from mountain bike racing and attended Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received an M.A. She has since been traveling the world filming in various genres including; TV documentaries, feature documentaries, webisodes, and TV specials/content branding with subjects ranging from car racing,  pregnant teenagers, underground tunnel workers, to arête, the philosophy of excellence.


Jennifer is committed to adventure and exploring the art of story telling through images. Her goal is to make global impact through film and multi-media. 

Diana DeCilio - Editor

 I am an editor, based in NYC.  

My specialty is non-fiction television, docu-series and character driven documentary.
I've had a passion for documentary filmmaking from a very young age.
In Jr. High, I would use the school's A/V equipment to video tape everyone & everything around me, then go home to edit my "verite" footage on my family's vhs players.
Through studying Visual Anthropology at USC, I began my editing career as an intern and then assistant editor at National Geographic Television Specials, in Los Angeles. I've worked both in LA and NY, on AVID and Final Cut Pro, for television and film. 

You can find samples of my work on my website.

Michelle Kim - Editor

 Michelle Kim is an editor based in New York City.  

Her editing style reflects her compassion for culture and humanity illustrated through her ability to find details of character that reveal intimate truths.

Michelle is first generation Korean, born and raised in Tucson, AZ. She attended Bates College in Lewiston, ME., and graduated with a degree in Spanish Literature after spending a year in Spain and completing a Senior thesis about Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


Michelle moved to New York City and worked for the Board of Education as a High School Spanish Teacher in Queens. During her tenure, she received a Masters Degree from Hunter College in Spanish Literature.

After teaching for ten years, Michelle decided it was time to pursue her passion for movies and become an Editor. Following her heart, she made the difficult transition into the TV / Film industry. Since then, she has worked in various genres including multi-cultural cooking shows for PBS, webisodes for CBS' Elimination Station, and the Emmy award winning True Life on MTV. 

Michelle has a second- degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is an accomplished marathon runner. With her teaching roots, and athletic background, Michelle has a personal connection and appreciation to the Arete film.

Her ultimate goal is to continue to express her passion for editing by sculpting compelling stories that leave the viewer lingering in imagination both in fiction and non-fiction.


Smokey Forester - Consultant

 I produce, direct and production manage documentaries - and I've been doing it for a long time.  Please click on my web site below for a list of many of the films I've worked on.

Jenn is a good friend and asked me to be a consultant on Arete, which is a great honor.  It promises to be a wonderful and moving film.


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