Mark S. Wexler is one of America’s preeminent documentary filmmakers and an award-winning photojournalist. He is known for producing films that present vivid characters and complex relationships with honesty and wit.
Wexler’s first film, Seeing Double, is a wry and engaging short about identical twins made for National Geographic television. Set during the annual “Twins Days” festival in Twinsburg, Ohio it takes us on a memorable journey into the odd and oddly endearing culture of twinhood, showing the curious, even eerie bond that links twins throughout their lives. Rich with humorous and revealing interviews, Seeing Double celebrates life, love and the indefinable mysteries of family and identity.
Next, he made Me & My Matchmaker, a personal portrait of an irrepressible Jewish matchmaker in Chicago. Originally conceived as an exploration of contemporary American romance, the film takes an unexpected turn when the matchmaker draws Mark into her world – and his own film – complicating their relationship as well as Wexler’s own love life. Film critic Roger Ebert hailed it as “amazing and touching.”
Mark’s passion for aviation led to his third film, Air Force One, which aired as a one-hour primetime PBS – National Geographic special in July 2001 to some of the highest ratings ever for a documentary. After five years of negotiation, Mark became the first filmmaker granted full access behind the scenes to the world’s most famous and secret airplane. The film weaves together the story of the technological marvel of the “Flying White House” with the history of the President’s personal plane. It includes original interviews with both Presidents Bush as well as Presidents Carter and Clinton.
In 2005, THINKFilm released Wexler’s critically acclaimed feature documentary, Tell Them Who You Are, an unflinching exploration of the tumultuous relationship with his father, legendary filmmaker and two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Tell Them Who You Are delicately tempers raw emotion with real humor to yield a film of exceptional truthfulness and depth. It won a place on the Associated Press’ list of the Top 10 Films of 2005 and Roger Ebert’s Top 10 Documentaries of the year as well as high praise from The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and others.
Mark’s latest film, How to Live Forever, chronicles his curious, lively, and sometimes troubling enquiry into how he might delay or even defeat death. Wexler contrasts the wisdom of centenarians, advice of longevity experts, and tips from exercise gurus against the surprising insights of funeral directors and food critics. Begun as a study in life-extension, the film evolves into a thought-provoking examination of what truly gives life meaning. The New York Times called it “Engaging…remarkably spry and lighthearted.” USA Today said it was, “Funny, rewarding and moving.” Roger Ebert called it, “A documentary of amazing complexity. Ferociously alive.”
Mark has enjoyed a long career as a distinguished photojournalist. His work, prized for its quirky perspective, has appeared in such publications as Time, Life, National Geographic, Smithsonian and The New York Times. He is the recipient of numerous World Press Awards for Outstanding Photojournalism.
Wexler has covered assignments in over seventy countries in the last twenty years. In addition to periodicals, Mark has been a major contributor to eight volumes in the popular Day in the Life book series, covering such diverse locations as Spain, Hawaii, Russia, Japan, Italy, Ireland and America. His work is also prominently featured in the books The Power to Heal, Passage to Vietnam and 24 Hours in Cyberspace. His own book, Hollywood, was published by Random House. Mark’s photographs have been exhibited in galleries throughout the world, including the International Center of Photography in New York.
Wexler’s longstanding interest in aviation and travel has led him to spend much of his life on planes – USA Today called him a “mileage maniac” and The Washington Post referred to him as “our latter day Phineas Fogg”. When not in the air, Mark enjoys swimming, drinking green tea, dinner with friends, hot towels, and a good bargain.