Saturday, June 13, 2009

"A Friend Indeed - The Bill Sackter Story" Now Available on DVD

For immediate release

Winner of the Audience Favorite Award in 5 Film Festivals already (the Kansas International Film Festival, Hardacre Film Festival, Omaha Film Festival, Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, and the New Strand Film Festival), “A Friend Indeed – The Bill Sackter Story” has just been released worldwide on DVD and is available and shipping now at

It’s an inspiring new feature-length documentary by award-winning filmmaker Lane Wyrick, showing how a forgotten man and an uncommon friendship shattered the world’s perceptions of people with disabilities, and it's been captivating audiences with its humor, emotion, and powerful message of human compassion!

The Deluxe Edition DVD Includes:

The Full Award-Winning Documentary "A Friend Indeed"
An Insightful Director’s Commentary Track
Additional Footage of Bill & Friends
New Interviews, Deleted Scenes, & Audio recordings
The World Premiere Event at Hancher Auditorium
Behind the Scenes Orchestra Recording in Seattle
Theatrical Trailer, Biographical Information
...and much more.


The Background: At the age of 7, Bill Sackter was institutionalized for mild mental retardation, and wouldn't be released from Faribault Institution in Minnesota for another 44 years.

But his friendship with college student Barry Morrow (who met Bill in Minneapolis and became his legal guardian to keep Bill out of the institution), would lead to Bill's meteoric rise as an international hero for people with disabilities, as the optimistic harmonica-playing proprietor of Wild Bill's Coffee Shop on the University of Iowa Campus in Iowa City.

Bill Sackter’s life story was made famous by the highly successful made-for-tv movie “Bill” (1981) starring Mickey Rooney as Bill Sackter, and Dennis Quaid as young filmmaker Barry Morrow.

This new feature-length documentary “A Friend Indeed – The Bill Sackter Story” uses the actual film and video footage and photographs of the real Bill Sackter taken by Morrow and others, along with new interviews with the people closest to Bill.

“A Friend Indeed” was created by Iowa City Filmmaker Lane Wyrick over a 7 year time period, and premiered at Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City last June to an audience of nearly 1200, where it received a standing ovation and much critical acclaim.

“I think the reason audiences have embraced ‘A Friend Indeed’ is because it is not only highly inspirational and very funny, but it also allows viewers to look beyond Bill’s disabilities and care for him as a human being,” Wyrick said. “It’s a fulfilling emotional experience that people will remember for a long time. A box of Kleenex is highly recommended!”

The documentary features a very moving full orchestral music score, created by Hollywood-trained composer Peter Bloesch (also of Iowa City). Wyrick and Bloesch closely collaborated throughout the entire process to make the music integral to the emotional storyline, and recorded the soundtrack at Seattle Music, well-known for their movie scores for major Hollywood productions.

The DVD is now available exclusively at, where you can also find extensive information about “A Friend Indeed” and Bill Sackter, and even view the first 4 minutes of the documentary.

This Deluxe Edition DVD includes full 90-minute documentary, a director’s commentary, and over two hours of ‘extra’ footage, including additional film & video footage of Bill and friends, insightful interviews, audio recordings, as well as footage from the Hancher Premiere and behind-the-scenes at the orchestra recording in Seattle.

The DVD release comes at the same time that the documentary is picking up steam theatrically. Fresh off a nearly packed screening at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis (where nearly 200 DVDs were sold after the screening on the first night of it's release), Wyrick plans on offering the DVD to a worldwide audience to help spread the story more quickly and work hand in hand to promote more theatrical screenings, and to offer everyone an enhanced experience on DVD, and an opportunity to share “A Friend Indeed” with friends and family.

For more information, please visit

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