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Mayor of the West Side

Photo of Mark
This one-hour documentary tells the complex coming-of-age story of Mark Puddington, a teenager with multiple disabilities who is a local celebrity on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Against the backdrop of preparations for his Bar Mitzvah, and with the support of his devoted mother, Mark and his family confront difficult choices about his future.

Mark has been walking the streets of New York City since he was four, shaking hands with everyone he passes. People call him "the Mayor." Although he speaks just a few words, Mark finds a way to connect with everyone he meets and, like the archetypal New York mayor, he always seems to get his way. But as Mark prepares for his Bar Mitzvah, deeply conflicted emotions surface about where Mark will end up after his parents can no longer care for him.

Through the course of the story, a family and community are forced to recognize Mark's ability to be more independent as they look forward to his life away from home, and away from the Upper West Side.

For more information about the film and to view a trailer visit

Judd Ehrlich, Director/Producer
Judd Ehrlich, a New York City native, worked for nearly a decade with YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities as a caregiver to Mark Puddington, the inspiration for his first film. Ehrlich also spent several years as a caseworker with New York City's homeless population before pursuing a passion for documentary. He collaborated on the editing of Ric Burns' epic PBS series and Emmy Award winner, "New York: A Documentary Film," where he worked with Richard Hankin (co-producer/editor, "Capturing the Friedmans"), and Macky Alston's Sundance Film Festival award winner and national PBS broadcast, "Family Name." Ehrlich also worked for the acclaimed PBS independent documentary series POV and edited for CBS News. He created and curated ongoing film series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum and the JCC in Manhattan, hosting programs with dozens of notables including Darren Aronofsky, Steve Buscemi, Karyn Kusama, Ben Younger, Nanette Burstein, Tony Kushner, Jem Cohen, Cyndi Lauper, and Willem Dafoe. Ehrlich taught documentary filmmaking with acclaimed directors Stanley Nelson and Tami Gold and is a graduate of Vassar College. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

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