Monday, September 29, 2008

Major Updates – “A Friend Indeed – The Bill Sackter Story”

Here are the highlights of WHAT'S NEW with the Bill Sackter documentary (read below for the full stories) -
1) Upcoming Screenings – Englert Theater in Iowa City on October 1, 4, & 5
2) Bill Documentary gets standing ovation and voted “#1 Audience Favorite” at Kansas International Film Festival
3) Winner of “Best Documentary”, “Best Iowa Film” and voted “#1 Audience Favorite” at Hardacre Film Festival
4) Bill Documentary screens where it all began, at the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis
 Upcoming Englert Theater Screenings
 “A Friend Indeed – The Bill Sackter Story” will be screening on Oct. 1, 4, & 5 (Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday) at the historic Englert Civic Theater in Iowa City. All screenings start at 7:30 p.m. – after brief introductions, the 90 minute documentary will be shown, followed by Q&A with Director/Editor Lane Wyrick.
Come see what critics and audiences alike are calling “A Must See Film”, in this emotional true life documentary on events that happened right here in Iowa City.
Tickets are just $10 and are available at the Englert Box Office (221 E. Washington Street), by phone 319-688-2653, or online through
You may purchase tickets on the night of the event. (Part of the proceeds will go to the Extend the Dream Foundation, an organization that employs and empowers people with disabilities.)

Kansas International Film Festival
On September 23, “A Friend Indeed” screened at the Kansas International Film Festival, and received a standing ovation. This highly competitive festival featured world class documentaries and top notch independent and Hollywood films. It was given the top festival award as it was voted the “#1 Audience Favorite” of the entire festival. Lane Wyrick attended the festival and hosted a Q&A after the screening.

KIFF #1 Audience Favorite
"A Friend Indeed" was honored with the Audience Award trophy and will also receive a one-week theatrical screening at the Glenwood Arts Theater in Overland Park, Kansas, from Friday Oct. 3 through Thursday Oct. 9. For ticket and show time information, please visit or call 913-642-4404.
It also received some great festival press:
"Watching this movie made me a better person...It's a story of redemption and uplift that immerses us in a gentle soul's very personal world. I guarantee you will find yourself bawling."  --- Bob Butler - Kansas City Star Newspaper
"My personal favorite and the sleeper hit of the (Kansas International Film) Festival is 'A Friend Indeed - The Bill Sackter Story'...It will touch your heart and bring you to tears." Rating 4 stars (out of 4)  --- Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum & The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle
"There were few dry eyes in the house at the conclusion of the screening. Lane Wyrick has demonstrated a special gift in revealing Bill's life so completely, and the world needs this film." Rating 5 stars (out of 5) --- Deborah Ground Buckner,

Hardacre Film Festival
At the 2008 Hardacre Film Festival on August 2, “A Friend Indeed” was winner of “Best Documentary”, “Best Iowa Film” and it was voted the “#1 Audience Favorite” of the festival.

This competitive festival in Tipton, Iowa is the longest running film festival in the state, and it featured documentary and narrative productions from around the world.
In a review of the Bill Sackter documentary, Hardacre Festival Director Travis Alden said “It’s a documentary that’s just super-well-done. It’s very moving, very emotional. I’m not embarrassed to say it brought me to tears. It really renews your positive outlook toward the human spirit.”

Minikahda Club Screening
On September 28, “A Friend Indeed” played at a very special venue – the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, in the very room where Barry Morrow first met Bill Sackter 37 years ago.
Back in 1971, Bill Sackter was a pot scrubber at the Minikahda Club, and Barry’s wife Beverly was a cocktail waitress at the club. At a staff Christmas party, Barry finally met Bill in main ballroom at the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis. After that meeting, Barry and Bill quickly became good friends and thus began the real life story that would garner national attention, two award winning tv movies, and now the real life documentary “A Friend Indeed – The Bill Sackter Story”.

Lane Wyrick at Minikahda Club
It was a very successful screening and in attendance were many club members and staff of the Minikahda Club, as well as several people that were in the documentary, including Barry Morrow, Jack Doepke, Dawn D’Hanson, and Steve Buetow, and Lane Wyrick.
...On a sad note, two weeks ago one of the people that worked with Bill back in the 70’s who we interviewed for the documentary was tragically killed in a hit and run accident when he was riding his bicycle to work. Jimmy Nisser had worked at the Club since he was 18 years old. Fortunately we had interviewed him for the documentary and showed this footage before the screening, and presented Jimmy’s sister with a DVD of the footage, which captures his personality and warmth. The driver of the vehicle has still not been found.

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All the best,
Lane Wyrick

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