People in most Western countries are getting older and older – but also much fitter. As sport clubs are loosing members among the young ones, old people flock to the stadiums and compete in national and international championships. In media these activities are mostly featured as freak shows with funny wrinkled people running in circles. Autumn Gold gives five veteran athletes of 80-100 years old a voice. It shows their extraordinary race against time and age as they jump, run and throw the discus. In their long lives, they have fought many personal crises and losses, they have survived wars and other tragedies, some of them have won the battle against terminal diseases. Now they are united in one common goal: to take part in the World Masters Championships in Finland this summer. This film tells about very old people, loneliness, stiff necks and death in positive and life-affirming tone with good portion of humor.
Jan Tenhaven, born 1969 in Essen, Germany, works as a writer and director of documentaries and reportages in Berlin and Leipzig. From 1998 until 2001, Jan was the bureau chief and correspondent at APM Media in London. Before that he had worked as a reporter for various German public television stations. Since 2001 he directs longer films for the Arts and Science department at MDR television. Since 2007 Jan works with Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion. Jan has studied Social Sciences and Journalism in Bochum and Berlin. Since 2004 he is a lecturer at the EMS Electronic Media School in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Jan was an official participant of the 2007 Documentary Campus Masterschool and RIAS Media Fellow at Duke University, USA, in 1999. For Autumn Gold his first theatrical documentary, Jan received the Filmmakers Award at the 2010 Hot Docs International Documentary Festival in Toronto.