NYU Langone Orthopedics documentary selected as official entry in Tribeca X Award competition

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A groundbreaking film chronicling the legacy of NYU Langone Orthopedics, aptly titled “On the Shoulders of Giants: The History of NYU Langone Orthopedics,” has achieved a prestigious recognition. Selected as an Official Selection for the 2024 Tribeca X Award Competition, the documentary promises to captivate audiences with its blend of historical narrative and cutting-edge medical procedures.

Sponsored by NYU Langone Orthopedics, the film offers a compelling glimpse into the institution’s storied past while showcasing the latest advancements in orthopedic surgery. Set to screen at the 23rd Tribeca Festival, the movie stands as a testament to the intersection of storytelling, advertising, and innovation.

“This film shows the trajectory of our department, from forming our roots at Bellevue in the 1850s to becoming a powerhouse of innovation and influence, both in our field and in our patients’ lives,” said Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD, Walter A. L. Thompson Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone. “We are pleased that Tribeca Festival is honoring this special film that tells not only our story, but that of the thousands of patients who are benefitting from NYU Langone Orthopedics.”

“On the Shoulders of Giants” also sheds light on NYU’s dedication to diversity within the field, showcasing the remarkable achievements of pioneers like Marian Frauenthal Sloane. Sloane, the first woman surgeon to publish in a U.S. orthopedic journal, is celebrated for her groundbreaking contributions, which she made while sewing bandages for the hospital in her spare time. Moreover, the film highlights NYU physicians’ efforts to bring orthopedic innovation to the United States by traveling worldwide, including ventures as far-reaching as Siberia. These endeavors ultimately laid the foundation for the evolution of the institution into its present iteration, the Hospital for Joint Diseases, solidifying NYU’s position as a global leader in orthopedic medicine.

Scheduled for a private viewing on June 12 at the Tribeca Screening Room, the film will be unveiled following the announcement of the Tribeca X award winners. This exclusive event, hosted by NYU Langone Orthopedics, promises an intimate exploration of the institution’s contributions to the field of orthopedic medicine.

“At the Shoulders of Giants” promises an immersive experience, interweaving historical retrospectives with riveting footage of real orthopedic surgeries. Viewers will witness firsthand the intricate procedures performed by NYU surgeons, from correcting traumatic injuries to pioneering innovative techniques like arthroscopic surgery.

“It has been a privilege to work on the legacy of the NYU Langone Orthopedics,” said filmmaker Peter Sanders. “The nearly forty interviews that were conducted with specialists in the various subspecialties have created a rich tapestry of ideas and discussions of procedures in a wide range of areas of expertise. The film is both an oral history of the department and its hospitals and its institutional predecessors and a document that preserves the contributions of clinicians and scientists.”

“Our doctors are truly engineers of the human body—whether they’re helping the average person get back on their feet or fine-tuning an elite athlete to perform their best,” said Kenneth Egol, MD, Joseph E. Milgram Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and vice-chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone. “What we’ve achieved in patient care, research and innovation is the result of standing on the shoulders of orthopedic giants highlighted in this film, and we are so grateful for Peter’s vision in creating this work.”