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 www.BillSackter.com.
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 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.