DOCTOR WHO AM I
Winner, Best Documentary Film, Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival.
North American distribution begins March 28th, 2023 Opening the year-long 60th anniversary of Britain’s famed sci-fi series, Doctor Who – proclaimed the longest running science fiction series in the world – DOCTOR WHO AM I had its East Coast Premiere at the 48th Annual Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival in February, garnering the coveted Best Documentary Film award.
Documentary filmmaker, Vanessa Yuille tells the story of her friend (and co-director), Matthew Jacobs, who joined the Who pantheon when he penned the – at that time – controversial 1996 TV movie introducing the “Eighth Doctor.” Jacobs – after battling fans who rejected some of his plot and enhancements to the characters and the lore – is reluctantly pulled back into fandom and the franchise due to the 50th Anniversary and the new twists that have appeared during the tenure of Jodie Whitaker – the first female Doctor Who.
The journey not only becomes hilarious and emotionally perilous for the duo but also reveals a touching and quirky face-off between the American Doctor Who fans and Matthew himself. As they explore the fandom, Matthew unexpectedly finds himself a kindred part of this close-knit, yet vast, family of fans. With appearances by actors Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook and Eric Roberts, the documentary deals with the desire to belong to a community, and how people can become nourished and enriched by the experience.
The allure of the character is rooted not only in the vast visionary lore, but in the fact that he does not die – he regenerates. To date – on television, there have been 13 “Doctors” including guest showings by John Hurt as the “War Doctor” and two feature films featuring Peter Cushing as the time traveling Doctor.
Making her feature film debut, Vanessa Yuille (Director/Producer/Editor), also won accolades for the documentary, An American Contradiction, as well as gaining notoriety as an editor on projects for Nike, Michelob, and Volkswagen to name a few. Ms. Yuille edited Dua Lipa’s music video for “Lost in your Light” featuring Miguel. DOCTOR WHO AM I marks Ms. Yuille’s feature debut as director and editor.
British writer, director, producer and actor, Matthew Jacobs (Director/Producer) won extensive praise throughout his writing career for projects including The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Doctor Who among others. He also directed two prize-winning TV movies for BBC films, Hallelujah Anyhow and Mothertime. As an actor, he starred alongside Danny Huston in Boxing Day. As screenwriter, his film credits include Lassie, The Emperor’s New Groove and the cult classic Paperhouse.
DOCTOR WHO AM I has been the darling of film festivals all over the globe after a brilliant UK release in October of 2022 through Kaleidoscope! It was an Official Selection at the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Portland Film Festival, the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and the Omaha Film Festival. DWAI was the Audience Award Winner at the London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film and won the coveted Best Documentary Film Award at the Boston Sci-fi Film Festival, the longest running genre film festival in the U.S.A.
Praise for Doctor WHO AM I from Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who Showrunner:
“Affecting and affectionate, DOCTOR WHO AM I – beautifully directed and edited by Vanessa Yuille and Matthew Jacobs – is a compelling and surprising documentary like no other. It’s a rich and beguiling piece of filmmaking: a revelatory personal odyssey into the heart of fandoms, family and Doctor Who that will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye. I loved it. Packed full of wonderful cameos and contributions from beloved Doctor Who faces, this film explores what it means to put creative work into the world, and how the passage of time affects the work, the creators and the fans. It’s essential viewing for anyone whose pulse quickens at the sight of a battered blue police box.”
From Vanessa Yuille:
“It’s very exciting that my first feature as a director and editor is resonating with audiences in both the UK and US. We’ve poured our souls into it and couldn’t be happier that our film will be released in the same year as the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who. It will be quite a celebration!”
“Winning Best Documentary at Boston SciFi was one of our happiest and proudest moments. We were overjoyed by the warm response and being championed by such an established and iconic festival.” photo: Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival spokesman Jay Michaels awarding Matthew Jacobs and Vanessa Yuille with the Best Documentary Award at the 48th annual fest.
“Our documentary fits into the 60-year canon as a heart-felt celebration of American fandom. We hope that the universal themes of redemption, regeneration and acceptance will touch a wide audience, including those who want a behind-the-scenes insight into what the Doctor Who 60th anniversary excitement is all about.”
From Matthew Jacobs:
“Just as Sci Fi London truly launched our documentary in the UK, Boston SciFi Film Festival has launched us into the public eye here! We’re so grateful!”
“We feel our documentary stands testament to the simple truth that the American Doctor Who fandom kept the franchise alive in the 90s and have constantly picked up the torch ever since. Without them the show would not be celebrating its 60th anniversary this year!”