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Director Serene Meshel-Dillman

Serene is from New York City.  She attended The School of American Ballet, Melissa Hayden's and The Alvin Ailey School.

She graduated from the University of Vermont where she performed with the Main Street Dance Theater and got a degree in Political Science. (A degree that had no relevance to her future.)  A love of photography was enhanced by darkroom courses at the university, and has continued to be a passion ever since.

After college, Serene worked as a producer of television commercials in both New York City and Los Angeles until she produced three children with husband Ray.

In 2014 she directed her first documentary, Getting to The Nutcracker. The film is a behind the scenes view of what it takes to produce the Nutcracker Ballet from auditions and rehearsals, to final performance.

In 2015, the film won Best Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival, the Los Angeles Dances with Films Festival Documentary Audience Award, Outstanding Direction at the Las Vegas Film Festival, and Best Documentary at the Kansas Film Festival.

Getting to The Nutcracker was also an official selection at First Time Fest New York, Mallorca International, and Samo (Santa Monica) Indie film festivals.

The film is distributed by Gravitas Ventures and has been presented nationally every holiday season on PBS since its release.

Link to the Getting to The Nutcracker website and film rental

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Cinematographer Eric Zimmerman