Tonight, Mayor Margot Garant of Port Jefferson Village will honor Setauket native and successful filmmaker Todd Wider at the screening of his film, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer at .
The Academy and Emmy Award-winning film producer will receive a proclamation for his continued efforts in the film industry. Listed in his filmography as executive producer are such career highlights as Taxi to the Dark Side (2007), Beyond Conviction (2006) and Kicking It (2007) starring Colin Farrell.
His most recent production, Client 9, focuses on the abrupt resignation of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. As New York's Attorney General, Spitzer prosecuted crimes by America’s largest financial institutions and some of the most powerful executives in the country, until The New York Times revealed that he had been caught frequenting an upscale escort service. Through extensive research and interviews, the film reveals the eminent downfall of the so-called “Sheriff of Wall Street.”
The inception of their film took place two days after the initial scandal broke out, when, over their breakfasts, both Todd Wider and his brother Jedd Wider expressed feelings that there was something more interesting beneath the surface of Spitzer’s downfall than what was present in the media frenzy.
“There was more to the story than what was apparent,” said Wider. “It also examines his own hubris, his ego.”
Once their idea became solidified, the filmmaking duo of ten years then approached Alex Gibney, the New York based Oscar- and Emmy-winning director with whom they had previously collaborated. After two years of production, Client 9 premiered at several large film festivals including the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival and Spain’s International Film Festival.
The film first came to the attention of the Greater Port Jefferson Arts Council and Northern Brookhaven Arts Council when it was screened during the Hamptons International film festival back in October.
“I wanted to see it initially because it seemed at the outset like a classic story of hypocrisy and hubris,” said council member Honey Katz. “However, the film turned out to be more multi-layered than I expected and one leaves wondering more about how political scandals are born and raised. It’s not as simple as they seem.”
What makes Wider’s film stand out is the extensive interviews featured throughout the film. Aside from speaking one on one with Spitzer, the filmmakers were also able to interview additional key players including Alan Greenspan, Roger Stone and the real prostitute Spitzer visited.
“People either really like or dislike him,” said Wider. “They were very happy to talk.”
“The film also raises the question of if Spitzer had not fallen from grace would there have been as much havoc on Wall Street. It’s also a great New York movie with strong production values,” said Katz.
“The film is very multi-layered and entertaining,” explained Wider.
Wider is currently working on three different productions. His latest film, Semper Fi, is slated to make its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this upcoming May.
The fourth installment in the Spring Documentary Film Series will once again take place at 7 p.m. on Monday night at .
Tickets are sold at the door for $5.00.