Every film is a journey, well planned, but often leading into uncharted waters, and unexpected revelations. The filmmaker's job is to hold to his or her vision, while responding creatively to the mysterious unfolding of reality.
Tom Weidlinger is a writer and filmmaker who has been writing, directing and producing documentaries for 35 years. His most recent film, "The Restless Hungarian," is his most personal project.
His early work deals with a wide range of subjects, from the emotional development of boys to humanitarian aid in the Congo. Social justice is a common theme. He made six full-length documentaries for public television, commissioned by the Lillian Lincoln Foundation, during the decade ending in 2010. One of these, "Jim Thorpe, The World’s Greatest Athlete," received over 4000 telecasts from public television stations. It is a film about a man who used his amazing physical prowess to affirm his American Indian identity in the face of unrelenting efforts to eradicate his culture.
In the 1990s Weidlinger was awarded one of the single largest production grants provided by the Independent Television Service (ITVS). The grant funded a four-hour series, "Making Peace," about grass-roots activists helping to heal conditions that create violence. During the early years of the Internet, the Making Peace Action Campaign became a model for effective, media-related social activism.
In 1989, inspired by the writings of Czech dissident-turned-president Vaclav Havel, Weidlinger embarked on a multi-year project to chronicle the evolution of Czechoslovak society after the fall of communism. He moved to Prague to produce "After the Velvet Revolution," which traces the lives of young Czechs and Slovaks as they adjusted to life in a new democracy. The film was shot over a period of four years, ending in 1993 with the partition of Czechoslovakia.
In 1987 he founded Moira Productions and made the transition from working as a director for hire to independent filmmaker, developing and raising funding for Moira Productions' own films. He produced his first two archival documentaries for the PBS flagship series "The American Experience." "The Great San Francisco Earthquake" premiered the first season.
Twenty-one of his films have been broadcast on public television. Many have won festival and industry awards and all remain in distribution. For detailed information, including trailers, please visit http://moiraproductions.com/.
  • Producer (1 Credit)
    The Restless Hungarian2021
    Documentary
  • Writer (1 Credit)
    The Restless Hungarian2021
    Documentary
  • Director (1 Credit)
    The Restless Hungarian2021
    Documentary
College
American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film Studies
Directing
19751977
Birth Date
May 30, 1953
Birth City
New York
Current City
Angels Camp, Califoria
Hometown
New York
Thomas Merton wrote, “There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage.
I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.
Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock … a universe. ― Annie Dillard, "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek"
Every film is a journey, well planned, but often leading into uncharted waters, and unexpected revelations. The filmmaker's job is to hold to his or her vision, while responding creatively to the mysterious unfolding of reality.