Who Was Diane Weyermann? How Did She Die?

Image Credit: Australian International Documentary Conference/Participant Pictures

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey’ is a four-part docuseries on Netflix that explores the fundamentalist Mormon sect and its religious practices and includes interviews with ex-members. The series features a dedication to Diane Weyermann. She was a film executive perhaps best known for championing stories that dealt with relevant issues like climate change and government surveillance. So, if you’re curious to find out more about Diane Weyermann, we’ve got you covered.

Who Was Diane Weyermann?

Diane Weyermann was born in September 1955 in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from George Washington University, Washington DC, in 1977, she got her law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and worked as a legal aid lawyer for a few years. Then, Diane enrolled herself in film school in Illinois, graduating in 1992 with an MFA in film and video. After working on a documentary and making a short film, she was appointed the director of George Soros’ Open Society Institute’s Arts and Culture Program in 1996.

Image Credit: International Documentary Association

There, Diane set up the Soros Documentary Fund aimed at supporting documentaries dealing with human rights issues. She took that to the Sundance Institute in 2002 when she was hired to set up its film program. Apart from this, Diane started two annual labs for filmmakers specializing in documentaries. She then joined Participant Pictures in 2005 and took care of the documentary film and television slate until her promotion to President in 2017 and Chief Content Officer in 2019.

Diane was known to pick up films that explored issues like climate change, the country’s education system, the refugees’ predicament, and government surveillance, among other things. Her projects won four Academy Awards and three Emmy awards. Among those wins are documentaries like ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and ‘Citizenfour,’ with Diane executive producing them both.

How Did Diane Weyermann Die?

Diane Weyermann had been dealing with lung cancer for a while, which ultimately caused her death on October 14, 2021. She was at a hospice facility in Manhattan, New York, and was 66-years-old at the time. Diane is survived by her sister, brother-in-law, and nephews. The seasoned filmmaker had lost another sister, Debra, in 2013.

Image Credit: Facing History and Ourselves/YouTube

In an earlier interview, Diane talked about what films mean to her, perhaps best encapsulating what she tried to achieve. She said, “What I love about film is it’s a creative medium. It’s not just ‘Let’s focus on an issue and educate,’ but: ‘Let’s tell a story, let’s tell it beautifully, let’s tell it poetically. Let’s tell it in a way that isn’t so obvious.'”

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