Filmmaker and Peninsula native tells of love and basketball with film to be screened April 25 in Forks
John Dahlgren’s “Extending the Play” will be screened April 25 for a limited audience at Forks High School.
Bracey Barker Ulin is pictured in play on the Sparta Dames, based in Luxembourg.
John Dahlgren, left, and Kasey Ulin, Forks natives who shot a documentary film, pause in Bertange, Luxembourg, following an interview.
By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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That film, “Extending the Play” — a story of love, obstacles and redemption — will be shown April 25 for a limited audience at Forks High School, 261 Spartan Ave.
Admission is free, but tickets are being issued to keep count of audience members, said John Dahlgren, the filmmaker.
Because of the small size of the auditorium, which seats 300, he is not releasing publicly the start time for the film.
About half of those seats have already been claimed, he said.
Those interested in tickets for the film can email Dahlgren at email@example.com for the start time and more information on tickets.
The film has been entered in several film festivals slated after the April 25 special screening in Forks, Dahlgren said.
Dahlgren and Kasey Ulin, both 32, have been best friends since the third grade at Forks Elementary School, and graduated from Forks High School together in 2000.
Today Dahlgren lives in Bellingham and travels the country — and sometimes the world — for his software training job, while Ulin has found his way to Luxembourg as a professional basketball player.
They keep in touch, getting together every summer in Forks, and Ulin's journey inspired Dahlgren to make a documentary film, “Extending the Play,” about Ulin and his wife, Bracey Barker Ulin, from Bar Harbor, Maine.
Dahlgren said he never intended to become a filmmaker.
“I always had the itch to write,” Dahlgren said.
For the last few years, he has been working with a mentor to learn to write screenplays.
That mentor suggested that he make a short, 15-minute documentary to learn the entire process of making a film and to help him understand better how to write for one.
Dahlgren said he thought that Ulin's journey from Forks to professional European basketball would be a good subject.
“I found that it's a bigger story,” he said.
The film, originally expected to be 30 minutes long, expanded to 40 and eventually to an hour.
“It's a very unique story,” Dahlgren said.
“It would be appreciated by people who aren't into sports. It is about what happens when you do what you love.”
Ulin and his wife didn't have what it takes to be NBA or WNBA-level basketball players, but they were good, and are still improving, he said.
He explained that European basketball teams play at a lower-level, so second-tier players can go to Europe and be successful, or even stars.
The leagues use American players to help lead their teams and develop European-born players and have limits on how many can play on each team, he said.
The Ulins' journey to Luxemborg, where both play professional basketball, was not smooth.
“Extending the Play” is a love story, Dahlgren said, and there is a bigger story of redemption.
“It's about learning to fix yourself and end things they way you want — about putting things back together,” he said.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: April 16. 2014 12:25AM