Unraveling Athena is a feature documentary that chronicles the journey that all Women Tennis Champions must pass through – from small child with a large racket to ranked player, and ultimately to WTA number one in the world, and beyond.
Women’s tennis is the most popular women’s sport on the planet. Female tennis players are as respected, well paid, and as famous or even more famous than their male counterparts. Tennis is epic. It is battle. A real-life demonstration of overcoming challenges from within and without, transcendence beyond limitations, a metaphor for life itself. This is the story of a journey not only in professional tennis, but a journey of life.
The Story behind the Title: Athena is the patron Goddess of heroic endeavor. She provided the ancient world with a mythology to live by: Goddess of tactics and skill, courage and strength, knowledge and wisdom, and ultimate victory, all guided by strategically controlled temperament in battle.
These qualities, these ideals, endure today as inspiration and fortitude in the World of Tennis.
Unraveling Athena is a story of real-life heroines, leaders destined to inspire generations to follow.
The archetype of Heroines that we usually see popularized in film, television and gaming media is a fantasy Heroine – a strong woman, perhaps an expert with weapons, or having super-powers adept at slaying the bad guys, saving the world. These depictions of the Heroine have their place – they are entertaining, sparking imagination and smashing modern stereotypes – and plain fun to watch!
However, the reality is different and in Unraveling Athena they have real-life Heroines to inspire and model after who have had more impact on peoples’ lives than any fictional characters.
Its undeniable that women’s tennis champions have impacted the lives of millions, men as well as women, both on and off the court, both during their professional tennis career and after they retire.
But what all these women from different generations, nationalities and personalities have in common?.
The guiding philosophy of the work is our belief that these women Champions all share common experiences that both frame their journey and speak to all of us about our own.
Our documentary uses Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s journey”, the most powerful narrative arc in film, as a structural spine, interweaving the lives of these champions to create a single, unified narrative of modern day contemporary heroines
In the creator’s own words: As filmmakers, our passion for tennis, and our fascination and awe at the epic nature of these women’s incredible journeys, is our inspiration to pay an homage to these heroines.
We have been working for two years on this project, travelling around the world, interviewing the champions as well as many key individuals in their world that figured prominently in their careers. Coaches, agents, sponsors, tennis executives, doctors, psychologists, scientists, tennis players, friends, families, and tennis fans. Their experiences and testimonies add depth and enrich the tale of our champions’ journey. We seek to capture a panoramic perspective of the journey, from an ordinary world to the top of the tennis mountain, and their lives beyond reaching that pinnacle.
Here are the heroines of this story, the small, elite group of Champions that made it to number one since WTA’s founding by Billie Jean King in 1973.
Zatopeka films was founded on the idea of developing and producing film and TV projects. Zatopeka films is an independent film company based in Miami, Florida U.S.A. Even though they are small, they dedicate all their energy and love to all the projects they do.
A passionate group of people fully dedicated to making this wonderful film.
FRANCIS AMAT (Director, Producer)
An accomplished musician, music producer, score-writer, and songwriter. Francis Amat has 30 years of experience in arts and entertainment. His professional career began at 17, with the formation (and Warner Bros. signing) of his band Pato de Goma (Rubber Duck.) In the ensuing years, his career as a songwriter and producer flourished through collaborations with some of Spain’s most recognized talents, including: Ana Torroja, Azucar Moreno, Estopa, Ana Belen, La Oreja de Van Gough, Guarana, etc.
For over 19 years, he wrote and produced the scores of countless television shows, including the title score for Hospital Central—one of Spain’s longest running television dramas. His work for Hospital Central was awarded the prestigious international Award Premio Ondas in Spain. In 1998, his score for “Canal Cocina” (Spanish Cooking Channel) won the Bronze Medal for Original Score at the New York Festivals.
He has also written original musical scores for documentaries such as “De Campo y Sin Merienda” (“At Camp and Without a Snack”) (Telemadrid, 1992); “Fauna Callejera” (“Street Fauna’) (RTVE 1997-98); and “Vietnam: Vida Tras La Muerte” (“Vietnam: Life After Death”) (RTVE, 1997-98)— a Finalist at the New York Film Festivals as Best Documentary. In 2009, he wrote the score for the full-length feature film 25 Kilates (“25 Carats,”) winner of the Silver Medal for Best Film at the 12th Film Festival of Malaga, Spain (2009) and the original score for the short “MUS.” What began with music production has transitioned into filmmaking.
PALOMA GONGORA (Producer – Art supervisor)
She has worked as a Designer for Amichi and as Production manager for Hoss Intropia, and as Design Manager for Pepe Jeans London. For three generations, Paloma’s family has been a driving force in Spanish cinema. Their company was the largest theater owner in Madrid—at its height, running over 20 movie houses throughout the city and thriving at the vanguard of countless industry innovations and advances.
Paloma has been more actively involved in the family business since 2010, producing and organizing film events at Madrid’s legendary Cine Paz, one of the oldest surviving movie houses in Madrid. As Producer, Paloma lends to the project her creative vision, design and management skills, knowledge of wardrobe and costume – along with her production experience. She is responsible for managing the daily shooting schedule; securing locations; securing financing; and functions as liaison between the crew and key personnel.
ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO –( Executive Producer )
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario is a former WTA number one champion. She began playing tennis at the age of four. At 17, she became the youngest winner of the women’s singles title at the 1989 French Open, defeating World No. 1 Steffi Graf. She won four Grand Slam singles titles, six Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, and four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She is also an Olympic medalist, adding two silver and two bronze medals to her accomplishments. As Executive Producer, Arantxa lends not only her experience as a professional tennis player with a career that spanned 17 years, but also lends her public persona to this project and her vast expertise in the tennis world.
- Francisco “Paco” Perez Romero – Director of photography
- Pepe plaza – Editor, Technical supervisor
- Carolina Gongora – Associate producer
- Fernando Lopez de Lorenzo – Associate producer
- Elisa Saldana – Associate producer
- Russell D. Hamer Ph.D. – Consultant
Francis Amat has started a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $50,000 the fund raised will be used for the following expenses:
- To complete some crucial interviews.
- To travel to locations to shoot the requisite scenes and complete the interviews.
- To pay for licenses to obtain critical Gran Slam archival footage (very expensive!). Just To give you an idea, the licensing for one minute of any Gran Slam archival footage is about $15,000 to $18,000. (Really expensive!)
- For editing, post-production, and sound mixing.
ALSO THEY HAVE THE TRADITIONAL REWARDS
- BLUERAY & DVD
- CREW POLO
- UA T-SHIRT
- FILM POSTER
- MOVIE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
- SET OF DIGITAL POSTCARDS
- MUSIC PACKAGE
- YOUR NAME ON THE FINAL CREDITS
- STREAM OF THE FILM
- FRAMED AND SIGNED YONEX TENNIS RACKET FROM ANA IVANOVIC
- FRAMED AND SIGNED YONEX TENNIS RACKET FROM CHRIS EVERT
- FRAMED AND SIGNED YONEX TENNIS RACKET FROM ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO
- FRAMED AND SIGNED YONEX T-SHIRT FROM MONICA SELES
- FRAMED AND SIGNED ADIDAS OUTFIT FROM ANA IVANOVIC
Have a look at the Kickstarter link below for more information:
Also please take some time to share this campaign across your social networks and encourage your friends and family to support.