Notes on Blindness
DIRECTED BY PETER MIDDLETON & JAMES SPINNEY
"Inspiring... extraordinary... utterly immersive" ★★★★★
Mark Kermode, The Observer
Expanded from the Emmy award-winning short of the same name, Notes On Blindness is the debut feature from Peter Middleton & James Spinney. Based on the audio-cassette diary of renowned theologist John Hull, the film charts John’s journey into ‘a world beyond sight’, and utilises a creative approach to the documentary form: actors lip-synch to the voices of the Hull family, with the filmmakers embedding John’s original audio recordings within evocative cinematic compositions and textured sound design.
After premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in January 2016, and following a string of international festival appearances where it won universal acclaim and multiple accolades, including the Special Jury Prize at San Francisco and the Wellcome Trust’s Storytelling & Innovation award at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Notes On Blindness was released in UK cinemas on 1st July and quickly became one of the most critically-acclaimed British films of the year. Observer and BBC critic Mark Kermode named it his second favourite film of the year, and it was nominated for six British Independent Film Awards, including ‘Best British Film’, ‘Best Directors’, ‘Breakthrough Producers’ and ‘Outstanding Achievement in Craft’ – taking home the prize for Best Documentary. It was also nominated for three 2017 BAFTAs – Best Documentary, Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut for directors Peter & James and producer (and Archer’s Mark Head of Film) Jo Jo Ellison.
The film is now available on DVD and Netflix.
To read about the sister project, the award-winning Virtual Reality experience Notes On Blindness: Into Darkness, click HERE.
Scroll down to read about the ambitious social impact campaign that accompanied the film.
Alongside producing the theatrical release, Jo-Jo Ellison produced an ambitious social impact campaign, designed to inform and influence the debate around cinema and accessibility issues. In an attempt to make Notes on Blindness the most accessible film released to date, we teamed up with experts in the field and delivered an unparalleled amount of accessible materials – including multiple soundtracks, creatively integrated subtitles, and even a specially created app that delivers subtitles and audio tracks directly to the user’s smartphone. Further to this, the filmmakers spearheaded a series of charity screenings, events, and Q&As designed to raise awareness around the topic, and together with Dr. Pablo Romero-Fresco, an expert in the field, launched The Accessible Filmmaking Guide, an instruction on how to approach accessibility in cinema.
You can view/download The Accessible Filmmaking Guide HERE.