Leading US doc makers Todd Wider and Jedd Wider, directors of God Knows Where I Am (screening in Best of Fests) have revealed details of their new projects. Their company Wider Film Projects has been involved in many award-winning docs, among them Mea Maxima Culpa and Taxi to the Dark Side.
The brothers, best known as producers, have recently taken the step into directing. They are now working again as directors on a new feature doc, To the Edge of the Sky, following four families who have sons with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a uniformly fatal disease that usually affects young boys. The doc's main focus is the fight by four of the boys' mothers to convince the Food and Drug Administration to get a drug approved that they believe will help their sons.
The FDA dragged out the approval process for this drug over a prolonged period, sparking an acrimonious dispute. The mothers come from very varied backgrounds. Over a period of two years, these women have become impassioned and extremely effective political campaigners. "It asks the question, how far would you go to save your son's life?" Todd Wider comments. The project is in post-production.
The company is also working on another new doc (as yet untitled) looking at the growing problem of homelessness in New York. "It's about the hopes and dreams of a person who has no home," Jedd Wider comments. "It seems like a giant problem. Our city is teeming with homeless people on almost every corner. It's insane. In my lifetime, it's the worst it's ever been." One of the homeless subjects has a PhD. Another is a writer.
God Knows Where I Am is being released in the US by Bond/360 next spring. The film premieres at Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York in late March. Cinephil is handling sales outside North America. The film has been to over 30 festivals in the US, picking up several prizes, including the Special Jury Prize for International Feature Documentary at Hot Docs.
Photo: Joke Schut