Screening and Presentation
Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, 23rd April 2018
LENS and StoryLab Research Institute hosted a screening of Notes on Blindness followed by a director Q&A, plus virtual reality experience. The film directed by Pete Middleton and James Spinney is a moving account of personal perseverance: After losing sight, John Hull knew that if he did not try to understand blindness it would destroy him. In 1983 he began keeping an audio diary. Since premiering at Sundance in January 2016 (alongside the virtual reality project) the film has played at over 40 international festivals. It won the Best Documentary at the British Independent Film Awards and was nominated for 3 BAFTAs (including Best Documentary and Outstanding British Film). The Q&A discussed immersive filming techniques, sequential narrative construction (from short form to long form), the commissioning process, translating true stories to screen and working with contributors. The VR session which followed gave the opportunity for attendees to experience a chapterised version of the story in VR, with an embedded immersive soundscape and continue their discussions with the director, James Spinney.