Jim Thorpe, the World's Greatest Athlete

tom weidlinger

Tom Weidlinger Biography

Director, Co-Producer, and Co-Writer

Tom Weidlinger is an independent filmmaker who has been writing, directing and producing documentary films for 30 years. Nineteen of his films have received national broadcasts on public television. Many have won prestigious festival and industry awards, and are in educational distribution.

Weidlinger's work deals with a wide range of subjects, from the emotional development of boys in the United States to humanitarian aid in the Congo. The themes of social justice and human relations run through his films.  Detailed information on recent works can be found at www.moiraproductions.com.  See also Weidlinger’s own statement about his approach to filmmaking.

For his most recent film Jim Thorpe, The World’s Greatest Athlete, Weidlinger teamed up with co-writer Joseph Bruchac, the Abenaki author and storyteller. The film is a biography of the legendary Native American athlete.

Other recent project include:

  • Swim for the River, (2007) about a man who swims the Hudson River, from its source in the Adirondack Mountains to New York City to bring attention to environmental causes in the Hudson River Valley.

  • Heart of the Congo, (2004) tells the story of aid workers helping refuges in a region devastated by civil war, amid threats of violence, corruption, and a legacy of colonial dependency.

  • In A Dream in Hanoi (2002) Vietnamese and American actors endure the strains of cross-cultural misunderstandings to mount a production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Nights Dream." In The Heart of the Congo (2004) Weidlinger explores the dilemma of humanitarian aid workers trying to help civil war refugees without creating a lasting dependency. In Boys Will Be Men, (2001) Weidlinger examines the culture of bullying and toughness that many boys are inducted into at an early age and suggests some effective alternatives for emotional growth.

In 1987, Weidlinger formed Moira Productions, an independent production company, for the purpose of developing and producing programs for public television. Moira's first production was The Great San Francisco Earthquake, which was selected to premiere the celebrated PBS anthology series THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Moira's second film, for the second season of the series, was The Great War, 1918.

Weidlinger graduated from the Center for Advanced Film Studies of the American Film Institute in 1977. He was awarded a William Benton Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago in 1993. He has received writing fellowships and residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Ossabaw Island Foundation, and the McDowell Colony. He has written two feature film screenplays and been commissioned to write and develop numerous proposals and teleplays for public television.

Tom Weidlinger filmmaker


A Moira Productions Film in association with Dateline Productions, 2008, Lillian Lincoln Foundation