Friday, July 25, 2008

Jul 25-30: Blindsight at VanCity

Graham Peat at Videomatica is involved with bringing this one to Vancouver. Reading the write-ups, I'm eager to see it.

July 25-30
Fri 25 @ 8:45
Sat 26 @ 7:00
Sun 27 @ 8:45
Mon 28 @ 7:00
Tue 29 @ 8:45
Wed 30 @ 7:00

UK 2007 // Director: Lucy Walker // 104 min // 35mm // BUY TICKETS


Winner of audience awards in Berlin, Palm Springs and Los Angeles, Blindsight captured the gripping adventure of six Tibetan teenagers who set out to climb the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri on the north side of Mount Everest. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayas, a dangerous journey soon becomes a seemingly impossible challenge—made all the more remarkable by the fact that the teenagers are blind. Believed by many Tibetans to be possessed by demons, the children are shunned by their parents and rejected by society. Rescued by Sabriye Tenberken—a blind educator/ adventurer who established Lhasa's first school for the blind—the students invite mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer to visit their school after learning about his conquest of Everest. Erik inspires Sabriye and her students to let him lead them higher than they have ever been before, and the resulting three-week journey is beyond anything any of them could have predicted.

The idea for the film came from Erik Weihenmayer (a blind mountaineer). Erik was put in contact with movie producer Steven Haft who thought this story would likely resonate with film producer Sybil Robson-Orr because of her interest in Tibet and mountain climbing. (She met her husband Matthew climbing Kilimanjaro, the same mountain on which Erik got married.) It only took one meeting with Erik before she decided to make the film.

"Erik told me climbing mountains gave him confidence as a blind teenager and he wanted to share that experience with these blind Tibetan kids. He asked me if I thought taking 6 blind Tibetan teenagers up a 23,000 foot mountain in the Himalayas sounded like a movie. I told him it did and decided to make it," says producer Robson-Orr. Sybil and Steven Haft had liked Lucy Walker's Devil's Playground, the critically acclaimed documentary feature about Amish teenagers, and asked her if she'd be interested in directing this project. Lucy connected with the material personally, and thus the filmmaking unit was complete.

"Brilliant...ravishingly photographed"— Time Out London.


Official Sit
View Trailer

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Sensation Of Sight

I've known Buzz McLaughlin for years: we corresponded and crossed paths at several theatre conferences, I've gotten a lot of value out of his handbook "The Playwright's Process," he came up to see Pacific Theatre's production of his play SISTER CALLING MY NAME.

Quite separately, I met Aaron Wiederspahn when I went down to Orlando to lead some writing workshops and take part in a 24-hour playwriting competition.  It was a couple years later that I found out Buzz and Aaron had met, and started up a film development and production company. And here's the first fruits! Get a load of that cast...

Greetings from Buzz McLaughlin and Aaron Wiederspahn!

As partners in Either/Or Films, we are proud to announce the national theatrical release of our first independent film THE SENSATION OF SIGHT by Monterey Media, who will be launching the film in theatres around the country later this summer.

Beginning the release, THE SENSATION OF SIGHT will return to New Hampshire, where it was filmed and where it premiered theatrically last November to a sold-out, 900-seat theatre in Keene, the Colonial. That night, over 300 people were turned away, prompting attention by Monterey Media and the desire for a return engagement.

From July 18 through July 31 THE SENSATION OF SIGHT will be screened at the Putnam Theatre in Keene State College's Redfern Arts Center ( For directions and a map, see and click on "About KSC"). The Redfern Arts Center is located on Brickyard Pond, which can be accessed via Wyman Way off 229 Main Street.

Screening times: July 18-24 at 7 p.m. with an added matinee at 2 p.m. on July 20, and July 25-31 at 9 p.m. Both of us will be available for a Q & A after the 7 p.m. screening on Friday, July 18. Aaron wrote and directed THE SENSATION OF SIGHT and Buzz is the executive producer. Other producers include Mark Constance, David Strathairn, Madeline Ryan, and Darren Moorman.

Starring Academy Award nominee David Strathairn, THE SENSATION OF SIGHT follows Finn, an English teacher turned encyclopedia salesman, as he deals with tragedy and mid-life crisis. After leaving his family and career in search of answers to the age-old question "Why?", sales and encounters are made that lead Finn ultimately to an unexpected and sublime awakening. calls THE SENSATION OF SIGHT "a very beautiful film...informed by a transcendent sensibility," and writes: "The Sensation of Sight is an independent film with a huge heart, a real gem in cinema rarely found today." (See the poster for more comments about the film; under the poster you can click to see the trailer, and if you'd like to check out our website, click here.)

During its international festival run, the film also received accolades from audiences in Spain, Brazil, China, Lithuania, Poland, and Estonia, as well as around the U.S. It won Best Feature at the New Hampshire Film Festival and Best Cinematography at the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa.

Monterey Media plans a DVD release after the film's theatrical run. Online pre-orders are already available at such sites as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

We'll keep you updated on the theatres around the country where THE SENSATION OF SIGHT will be playing.