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A Friend Indeed - The Bill Sackter Story

Published Reviews

"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) - and Top 10 Films of the Year
--- Keith Cohen - Sun Publications (Top 10 list)


"...Bill is an immensely likable, even inspiring character...he seems to have had the special ability to make people forget about themselves and care about someone else. Bring a box of tissues. You’ll need it."
--- Bob Butler - Kansas City Star Newspaper


“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,


“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.” #1 Audience Favorite and Best Documentary
--- Travis Alden - Hardacre Film Festival Director


“As inspiring as a documentary can get...It's the best film about getting a second chance you'll ever see.” 10 Best Films of the Year
--- Philip Beck - Film Reviews by Phil


Viewer Reactions
(Email us your reactions)

Fantastic piece of filmmaking! It had all the elements, and they were put together so well. Such a beautiful and touching story we can all benefit from hearing/seeing. I left feeling so uplifted. What a wonderful gift. Thank you, and please make more films like this one! - F.L. - posted fan comment from Omaha Film Festival


Bill lived his life closer to God than I have experienced with anyone my entire life! I have never before laughed with such joy and cried deep, sorrowful tears watching a movie. My life will be touched forever by this amazing man. - Colleen J. - Facebook Fan Site


This is the best ever! My dad Mickey Rooney played Bill Sackter in a tv movie. He was Great! But Lane really does it here! - Kelly Rooney- Facebook Fan Site


As a mom with a son who just happens to have disabilities, I found this film truly inspiring. I have seen it 3 times and everytime I get more inspired by it. Thanks for sharing this story. - S.B. - Facebook Fan Site


"Wow, the movie "A Friend Indeed' was amazing. I have devoted most of my adult life to advocacy on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities. I have experienced many daily inspirations and joys, but this movie was really something. Every one needs to see this. Lane Wyrick is an amazing film maker and now a friend. Every person, agency and Arc that believes they care, needs to see this to reawaken why we exist." - C. Norwood - The Arc of Greater Cleveland - They hosted a very successful Filmmaker Presentation & Screening


As a dad of a son with Down syndrome, thanks. You'll never know what a film like this means to our family. - - Bruce C. - email comment


I love this true story of Bill Sackter. I wish there were more of these feel good stories like this in the world today, truly inspiring... - Mike M. - Facebook Fan Site


Thank you so very much for allowing me to see "A Friend Indeed" in it's full length glory! Such a sweet movie - I have been a fan of the "Bill" tv movie since I was a kid so seeing your movie just added to the joy that was/is Bill Sackter - I will watch your film many times I am sure as it brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Thank you again.- - Joe - email comment


Saw the movie. One of the best movies ever. My husband and I were touched - Jeanne L. - Comment on DVD order form


This was an amazing documentary. I am so moved by the story. My son has multiple disabilities and uses a communication device to speak and we have always had him fully included in typical classes and activities in life, and now as a pilot program taking classes at a university. So we know, that with the right opportunities and people in his life, anything is possible. No matter what a person's needs are, they always bring gifts. We need more stories like this to help change society's false perceptions and inspire others to give everyone those opportunities. It's the people in one's life that matters that most. - Colleen D. - Comment on Facebook Fan Page


A truly moving story of someone who slipped between the cracks of society. It shows us that it takes more than money or success to become a good human being. We need to recognize people for what they are and not from their status or bank accounts. - g.rival - YouTube comment

(comments continued below)

Video - Viewer Reactions at the World Premiere


I have been following the Bill Sackter documentary news for about two years now. The movie finally arrived in Boise, Idaho where I was able to see it tonight. I wanted to write and say thank you for making this movie. It was well worth the wait. The film really touched my heart, and is, without a doubt, a much-needed bright spot in a world so full of bad news. I took my two sons, ages 9 and 10, and I know it had a big impact on them as well. I vividly remember watching the Mickey Rooney adaptation when I was a child, and I am so glad that Bill's story is still being told. Thanks again for making this film. You have done a very, very good thing. - Email from Ryan D.


It was ABSOLUTELY wonderful - thank you for a documentary worth watching again & again! - Diane M. - Viewer Comment Card at screening


This documentary touched me deeply. We have a child that has high functioning autism. The message of this film is what I feel for our own child. Thanks for an incredible experience. The music made the movie so moving. I cried all the way through the movie - as did everyone around me! - M.F. - Viewer Comment Card at World Premiere


This needs to be in every school library in the country! - Arc of Northern Chesapeake Maryland


Hi. Just wanted to let you know that the Documentary on Bill Sackter was AWESOME...All the people that were involved in making this deserve a great big round of applause. The couple that took Bill under their wings for all those years should get a medal for showing other people that people with a disability can live regular lives to with a little help from Friends. Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! - Joannie H. - email comment


I have a 9 month old son. Recently everything that I have watched, news, etc. has made me worry for his future. Your movie made me want to go home and hug him. Thank you! - R.S. - Viewer Comment Card at screening


An excellent film! I highly recommend it! - Michael B. - Facebook Fan Site


This is one of the most excellent documentaries I have seen in my life, an important story finely crafted. It is well worth owning for repeated meditation. - Michael M. on Facebook


I am a freshman at Wartburg College. I just wanted to thank you for showing the film "A Friend Indeed" there and giving us the chance to view it. I brought my buddy from Best Buddies and he loved it. - Regan K. - email comment


What a delightful story we viewed and heard Saturday night at Hancher regarding the life of Bill Sackter. Lane Wyrick's directing and editing and Peter Bloesch's musical background were both highly impressive! The documentary is the kind of story that one hopes millions of people in this country will see, for the world needs more people like you, the Morrows and the thoughtful folks at the School of Social Work. The life-changing contributions you and others made to a "down and out" person is truly remarkable and admirable. I congratulate you for that accomplishment and thank you for representing our University and community so well in this magnificently successful humanitarian story. - John C. - email comment


Brilliant work Lane! Your documentary was fluent, compelling, informative, and put together with a great deal of thought, sensitivity, and talent. Very skillful job of weaving humor throughout a very intense life story. I only met Bill one time, but fully believe he would give you his full endorsement of this documentary. To anyone who has yet to see it, I wholeheartedly recommend you do! - Dan K. - YouTube

Steve and I, and friends, attended the World Premiere" of the "Bill Sackter Story" and we would like to congratulate you - all of you. This documentary is clearly a labor of love - the love of many. And judging by the laughter and the standing "O", the audience loved it as well. Good luck! - Connie - on Bill Sackter Blog


Cathy and I just watched A Friend Indeed and loved it. We ordered the "three-pack" and are glad we did: the other two are going off to family members this week with our warm endorsement. - Jim - email comment

(comments continued below)

Video - Viewer Reactions at the Minneapolis Premiere


Thank you SO much for an incredible film - the story of one man's life and how much he made a diffference to so many! Remarkable footage and amazing music that depicts the beauty of Bill. - M.K. - Viewer Comment Card at World Premiere


Paul and I saw the documentary, "A Friend Indeed," last night (and ordered the DVD). Absolutely more than worth the price. I wish all of our politicians had to watch it before they make decisions about funding for individuals with disabilities... - Jean B. on Facebook


It was a great pleasure to be in the audience of your Premiere. It was incredible and will remain one of my most memorable media experiences. Unbelievable. – Jerry Z. – email comment


A very tender celebration of the joys of life: the right mix of history, humor & humanity - a documentary that holds your interest and touches your heart - highlights the strengths of Bill and gives hope & inspiration to anyone who knows/works with anyone with a disability. - P.R - Viewer Comment Card at World Premiere


Congratulations and thank you for ”A Friend Indeed”. It is inspiring and moving. You have made a superb film which will have an enduring impact on all who have the good fortune of viewing it. Your incredible talent and efforts have created an extraordinary film. - Sandy B. - email comment


Congratulations on your tremendous 7-year project! I brought my 4-year-old to last night's premiere although I wasn't sure that he would get much out of it. However, we had several meaningful discussions about Bill. My son has a girl in his preschool class that is mentally challenged. We talked about how her life will be different than Bill's because we accept people who are different now, and welcome them, rather than lock them away in institutions. He was really upset to think of his classmate going through all that Bill had gone through just because of his mental disability. I thought you might like to hear that your film had an impact on someone not yet in kindergarten. - Dixie H - email comment


I am thrilled with the overwhelming and fantastic response to the film...I viewed your "rough cut" at the Small Mall in Iowa City before it was finished, and I knew then that the film was going to be amazing... you have a phenomenal piece of work there Lane, and I imagine this will only be the beginning... heartfelt congratulations... The folks at the Small Mall are near and dear to my heart. - Lisa W. - YouTube


I just ordered the DVD. I saw this at the Citzen Advocacy dinner in West Bend and I LOVED IT!!!!! - Joan M. - Facebook Fan Site


It is a truly beautiful, brilliant work. My only complaint of the evening was that I didn't have enough Kleenex! It moved both young and old in our group. You have eloquently captured this amazing story - Bravo! - E.S. - Viewer Comment Card at World Premiere


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