(San Francisco, CA) Dylan Williams’s Men Who Swim is a humorous and poignant look at a group of middle-aged men — including the filmmaker — who found unlikely success as members of Sweden’s all-male synchronized swimming team. What began as a weekly escape from the daily grind of work and family responsibilities gradually evolved into a more serious commitment. Inspired by classical techniques from 1950s-era swimmer Esther Williams from the 1950s, this group of train drivers and meat buyers, archivists and teachers soon became passionate exponents of the sport. Men Who Swim will premiere on the Emmy® and Peabody award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by America Ferrera, on Tuesday, January 4, 2011, at 10pm (check local listings).
Initially believing that they were the only all-male team in the world, the members of the swim team were surprised to discover that other countries also had teams, including Japan, Ukraine, Holland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain. And, for the first time ever, there was even going to be an unofficial All Male World Championship in the sport.
The team entered the 2009 championship in Milan and quickly realized that they would have to step up their game if they were to have a chance at the medals. At the beginning there was resistance amongst the men, but eventually they start to work in synch and pull together a winning routine.
2009 was also a significant year for many in the team, as over half of them would turn 40. It’s an age when they must take stock of their lives, ask themselves what they have achieved, and wonder where they are going in the future. Men Who Swim follows their journey in and out of the pool as they ultimately discover that this milestone is all about discovering that you already have everything you ever wanted.
To learn more about the film, visit the Men Who Swim interactive companion website (pbs.org/men-who-swim), which features detailed information on the film, including an interview with the filmmaker and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film, and more.
About the Filmmaker
Dylan Williams (director) has worked as both producer and director on several films. His credits include productions shown on the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, ZDF-Arte, and The History Channel. Productions such as Space Tourists and Future Visions were sold to more than 25 countries worldwide. Dylan moved to Sweden in 2002 and has since directed a number of documentaries shown throughout Scandinavia including the tragicomedy Madame and Capt. Nilsson (2006), and Reserved for George (2007), the story of a man who ate lunch in the same restaurant every day for 73 years without anyone knowing his name until the day the restaurant faced bankruptcy and George, a reclusive millionaire, came to the rescue. Together with Erik Pauser, Dylan formed Amp Film in 2008, with Men Who Swim as the third film to be completed following The Face of the Enemy, which he produced, and the critically acclaimed concert film, Holocene by Lars Siltberg. Men Who Swim is his story.
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10pm on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history. Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Further information about the series is available at www.pbs.org/independentlens. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS, and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The series producer is Lois Vossen.
For the program companion website, visit pbs.org/independentlens/men-who-swim
Voleine Amilcar, ITVS, 415-356-8383 x 244, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Lugo, 770-623-8190, email@example.com
Cara White, 843-881-1480, firstname.lastname@example.org
For downloadable images, visit http://pressroom.pbs.org