“I imagine what would have been if I had read Judy Blume books as a kid,” poses documentarian Leah Wolchok, who sheepishly reveals after the premiere of “Judy Blume Forever” she never read Blume’s books until she was an adult and began this project.

Leah Wolchok joined Davina Pardo’s “Judy Blume Forever” in 2020, and the two frequent collaborators premiered their latest documentary at Sundance on Jan. 21. After the premiere, the two Emmy award-winning documentarians shared insights on the process of chronicling beloved author Judy Blume’s decades-long career in a discussion with Variety Sundance Studio presented by Audible.

The film examines the impact of Blume’s work on pop-culture and her frequent run-ins with controversy as a result of her candor surrounding topics like puberty, menstruation, masturbation and sex.

Wolchok explained, the filmmaking process began at the the beginning of COVID, in March 2020, while they were “terrified [of] what was happening in the world.” In spite of that, the two were able spend the spring and summer of 2020 “going back into our childhoods, and reading all of Judy’s books and really brainstorming, thinking about what the film could be.”

The documentarians debated on how to structure the film, and as they read and reread the books they worked to “find those moments in Judy’s life that intersected with moments in her character’s lives,” explained Wolchok. The presence of Blume’s characters drove the documentary’s narrative structure, but the lives Blume’s characters touched became an integral part of telling the author’s story.

Pardo and Wolchok included the voices of those impacted by Blume’s book, with interviews from with actors Lena Dunham (“Girls”), Molly Ringwald (“Sixteen Candles”), Anna Konkle (“Pen15”) and Samantha Bee (“Full Frontal”) as well as letters Blume has received over her decades long career.

As Pardo details, from their very first meeting, the filmmaker and author discussed the importance, and former lack of acknowledgment, of the letters Blume had received from children over the years. “There were these kids who had for decades and decades written letters to Judy. Some of whom she corresponded with back and forth for a long time and forged really intimate relationships with,” revealed Pardo. “I think she really appreciated that that would be part of the story. She felt like that part of her story hadn’t really been told yet.”

The duo wanted to reveal how Blume had the ability to understand her young readers, “in a way that their parents didn’t” and how her prose spoke to the readers “about things that our parents really didn’t talk about a lot of the time,” said Pardo.

As a child, Wolchok, unlike her collaborater Pardo, never read Blume’s books, and throughout the process has wondered, “‘What would have been if I had read Judy Blume books as a kid?’ I would have understood myself so much better I wouldn’t have been so afraid of growing up and turning into the woman that I became.”