Experiencing Interruptions?

Beating SuperBugs Better: Can We Win?

This film presents ingenious solutions to the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (“superbugs”). Patients, doctors and researchers testify to their deep danger. Leaders in economics, government and the pharmaceutical industry reveal their coordinated counter-attacks. All know that superbugs could easily surpass cancer as the No. 1 cause of human death.

  • William Mudge
  • Jean Mudge
  • William Mudge
  • Jean Mudge
  • Bob Milley
  • Grant Hill
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Patient, MRSA Survivor"
  • Lord James O'Neill
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Economist and Policy Leader"
  • Dr. Thomas Patterson
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Patient, Iraqibacter Survivor"
  • Dr. Steffanie Strathdee
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Doctor and Spouse"
  • Dr. John Rex
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Doctor"
  • Prof. Kevin Outterson
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Lawyer"
  • Tori Kinamon
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Patient, MRSA Survivor"
  • Kari Kinamon
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Tori's Mother"
  • Dr. Rafael Laniado
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Doctor, TB Expert, Tijuana, Mexico"
  • David Payne
    Key Cast
    "as Self, GlaxoSmithKline Executive"
  • Christi Nelson
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Patient, C. Diff Survivor"
  • Dr. Ina Park
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Doctor, Gonorrhea Specialist"
  • Prof. Lance Price
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Professor"
  • Fred Tenover
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Doctor, Product Expert"
  • Prof. Gerald Wright
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Researcher, Antibiotic Restoration"
  • Dr. Robert Schooley
    Key Cast
    "as Self, UCSD Phage Researcher"
  • Dr. Eleftherios Mylonakis
    Key Cast
    "as Self, Brown University Researcher"
  • Prof. Douglas Mitchell
    Key Cast
    "as Self, U of I Researcher"
  • Dr. Timothy Lu
    Key Cast
    "as Self, MIT Researcher"
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Science Education, Antibiotic Resistance, Microbiology, Public Health, Phage Therapy, Bacteriophages
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 7 minutes 27 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 31, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Accolade Global Film Competition
    La Jolla, California
    United States
    Award of Excellence
  • Cannes World Film Festival
    April 11, 2021
    Best Health Film
  • Montreal Independent Film Festival
    April 25, 2021
    Selected Feature Documentary
  • Docs Without Borders Film Festial
    Nassau, Delaware
    United States
    May 6, 2021
    Award Winner, Science
  • Los Angeles Cinematography Awards (LACA)
    Los Angeles
    United States
    June 21, 2021
    Best Documentary
  • Jersey Shore Film Festival
    Deal, New Jersey
    United States
    October 21, 2021
    Winner, Feature Documentary
Distribution Information
  • Indie Rights
    Country: United States
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Pay Per View
  • Films Media Group
    Country: United States
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Pay Per View, Video / Disc
Director Biography - William Mudge

Bill Mudge spent over 16 years at Merrill Lynch as a financial analyst and software developer while earning an MBA at the Stern School of Business at NYU. After consulting in the business world, in 2010 Bill explored his passion for documentary filmmaking. He attended San Francisco Film School with a special focus on studying documentary films. In the past decade, Bill has produced and directed short films that cover everything from paratroopers to cancer, and sailboats to superbugs. “BEATING SUPERBUGS BETTER: CAN WE WIN?” is his first feature film, which had some minor updates in mid-2022.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I first started reading about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, superbugs, more than 10 years ago and realized that the same stories were emerging again and again: people were dying of untreatable bacterial infections in various parts of the world without much notice. Doctors and researchers knew something far more ominous was happening: many kinds of bacteria were becoming resistant to the antibiotics we had taken for granted since World War II. The general public was only vaguely aware of the dangers, never mind any real fixes. I saw a need to bring these story fragments together and highlight the best scientific, economic, and political solutions available. People around the world must recognize antibiotic resistance threats and how to fight them.

We chose our resistance survivors among successful people including a college student, professional athlete, university professors, and cartographer to underscore that if people like them can get a life-threatening antibiotic resistant infection then anyone can. As one of our experts, John Rex, points out, the assumption that these problems always happen “over there” somewhere else … is really wrong.” The threats are not just “on the doorstep.” The dangers of antibiotic resistance “came inside” years ago.

Our story really came together during a 2018 interview with James O’Neill, an economist and member of the British House of Lords, who shared his now widely-accepted plan to help pay for new antibiotic developments. Rather than just talk about how governments, universities, and big pharmaceutical companies should collaborate his report has come up with a viable way to help new discoveries reach the marketplace, but only as needed. Solutions to antibiotic resistance become real only with the right economic and political support. Otherwise, they’re only laboratory curiosities instead of public health initiatives.