Exploring movement, touch, imagination and love, this triptych of films reveal the sensorial world of three blind musicians and celebrate the resonating power of music. We meet Baluji, a charismatic sitarist whose musical talent propels him from rural India to London, where he founds Britain’s only blind orchestra, Inner Vision. Born blind, Japanese viola player, Takashi, is determined to transform his musical practice. Exploring movement in dance, and imagining colour, he brings dynamism to his music. British-Nigerian soprano, Victoria, woke up in blackness after an eye operation aged six, and began to see colour in sound. Embracing a new perception of her voice, she sings a powerful aria, revealing her unique syneasthetic vision. Celebrating the players musical heritage and extraordinary journeys, these playful, heartfelt films have survival, hope and creativity at their heart.
Blind before he was one year of age, Baluji Shrivastav knows that music making can transform lives. His music and words reveal his relationship to sound, and the philosophy that lies at the heart of Indian Classical music: it was through the power of sound that the universe was created.
Japanese viola player
Blind from birth, Takashi wanted to explore movement. For the last fourteen years he has attended ballet classes for people with sight loss at The Royal Opera House in London. Movement through ballet as well as swimming has helped him feel freer and has transformed many areas of his life. Employed primarily as a successful viola player, Takashi also works part time as a waiter in Dans le Noir Restaurant.
Victoria Oruwari started experiencing synaesthesia when she lost her sight aged six. Finding the colours she saw became stronger with music, she embarked on the beginnings of her musical career. Victoria speaks of feeling extra powerful on stage, and that it is one place that she feels most in control, being in the role where she is the giver.
We are really excited to have wrapped filming and will be heading into the edit in November. Watch this space for news from the edit suite! In the meantime here are some production photos from our shoot with soprano singer Victoria Oruwari and pianist Kevin Satizabal.
Director, producer, camera
Marie-Cécile Embleton is a documentary director, producer and director of photography. She photographed the feature documentary The Cuban Wives, which won the Malvinas Award at the Trieste Film festival and has screened at film festivals across the world. She has worked on a number of broadcast projects including films for the BBC, Channel 4 and YLE. Her short The Watchmaker premiered at Dok Leipzig and was her directorial debut. She is currently developing a creative documentary, Colours of Sound that explores three blind musicians’ relationship to music.
Seemab Gul is a documentary producer, director and camerawoman. She field produced a feature documentary ‘The Kingdom of Mr.Edhi’ that won the Silver Award at Biarritz FIPA and was broadcast on TV. She co-directed a short documentary that was in Sheffield Doc Fest’s Best of British strand. Seemab has been commissioned by Channel 4, CBA WorldView and Arts Council England. Seemab is a graduate of the London Film School and an alumnus the NFTS Film Clinic.
Alberto Balazs started his career in Cinematography graduating from Barcelona Film School ESCAC. Since then he has been based in London and worked on fiction and documentary productions internationally. In 2012 he was selected as a young UK Cinematographer for the Berlinale Talent Campus. He was cinematographer for the film ‘The Inner Valley’ which was selected for BAFICI and IFFR, amongst other festivals.
With a background in fine art and theatre, Romain started out as an editor seven years ago. He is also a visiting tutor at Kampala film school for their undergraduate program. Recents work includes editing the feature length documentary Larryland and shooting music videos for local artists in Uganda.
Andrej’s background is in music composition where he spent 10 years working in recording studios with many leading artists. This evolved into work within film industry as a sound recordist and sound designer for the past 7 years. His sound work has been nominated for awards and he continues to develop his practise as a sound artist creating sound installations.
Alex Usborne is an Emmy winning Film & TV producer with a reputation for producing original, distinctive and successful films. He runs 104 Films, which has established itself as the world leader in disability cinema and social issue cinema. The company produced the feature film Special People released in the cinemas by Guerilla Films. The company manages the short film scheme for disabled film makers The Magic Hour and has a UK Film Council Visions Development award. Usborne worked for two years as a Senior Executive at the New Cinema Fund where he was production executive on 4 feature films and designed and set up all the Film Council Short Film Schemes.
David & Hesta Spiro
- Sound: Joel Neale, Bruce Sonhador, Filipe Pinheiro, Nina Rice, Mustafa Bal, Josh Coppersmith Heaven, David Baker
- Camera: Andrea Barone, Sasha Bajac, Tiff Wear, Alejandro Tarraf, Angela Neil, Tom Ralph, John Martin White, Silver Levy-So
- Under water camera: Anne Parisio
- Researchers: Zoe Gelber, Emily Wright, James Rimmer
- Runners: Holly Lubran, Daisy Gaston
A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to our Kickstarter Campaign and made this film possible.
Jon Rusbridge, Laura Shacham, Brigitte Piccolo, Alys Tomlinson, Will Yong, David Yaghoobi, Philippa Frisby, Shaf Mansour, Judith Moore, Jessica Charleston, Peter Schneider, Taro Tsuruta, Devon Hazel, David Taylor, Sophie Silocchi, Julie Buckland, Jimi Can, Annalise Pask, David Whitton, John-Paul Gibbs, Neil Embleton, Alessandro Leonardi, Hannah Asen, Chris Mahood, Jacqueline Gestach, Nigel Meager, Emily Kearns, Tom Crowley, Keith and Gill Embleton, Tiff Wear, Angela Sansone, Shane Pomeroy, Merryn Threadgould, Roger Clarke, George Gelber, Barbara Rusbridge, Thornbridge, Alice Bird, Rosemary Waddington, Katia Sand, Ailien Rhijnsburger, Jay Shanghavi, Alice Russell, Crispin Paine, Emilie Edwards, Wet Picnic Theatre Company, Rose Orlik, Clare Schrader, Heather, Priti Raja, Andrew Styles, Tony Volker, James Risdon, Alice Baxter, Will Connor, Carol Allen Storey, Tessa Sillars-Powell, Grace Robinson, Clare Fawcus, Anna Nguyen, Robert Armitage, Sudha Patel, Chris Gallie, Chris Margrett, Lanna Ford, Chris Evans, Tim Penny, Owen Normand, Lucy Fawcett, Anne Parisio, Tim Smart, A Well Wisher, Christopher Orlik, Esme Horne, Krzysztof Candrowicz, Mark Millais, Constance Jehu, Oliver Ward, Ellie Rose Rusbridge, Beatriz Belfrage, Olivia, Jennifer, JG Mastrangelo, Olly, Bean Downes, Susie Williams, Louis-Jack-Horton-Stephens, Nicholas Carter, Charlotte Royle, Bernard Michael Murphy, Mandy Charleston, Kevin Satizabal, Carrie Steers, Sue-Horton Stephens, Mark, Kwojo Ackah, Erik Sleutjes, Danail Solaimani, Mark Woolford, Charlotte, Joanna Linden-Montes, Heidi Lipsanen, Katharine Daish, Nick Bastin, David & Helen Beales, Riccardo Montana, Maisie Platts, Joaquin Albero, Peter Wear, Caroline Fahmy, Julian Filochowski, Alexia, Amy Birtles, Molli claypool, Ikaraam Ullah, Mary Crawford, Orla Charlton, Kate West, Jake Rusby, Willie Harbinson, Steven Legere, Naomi, Coralie Edwards, Minnie Kemp, Anne Bell, Nina hoegg, Esme Hilliard, Mark Herbert, Shura Harris, Annabel, Jollen Goffin, Tessa Laws, Chithra Jeyaram, Alison Davies, Ella and Ramesh Vala, Lucas Levitan, Sven Arnstein, Tommaso Valente, Gez Mendinger, Joanna Ritchie, Kitty Wheeler Shaw, Jack Drewry, Greg Stawski, Alex Davey, Ian Michael Yates, Jane Moorhouse, Georgia Duncan, Misha Law, David Baker, Wendy Carter, Mabel Holland, Margaret Sayfritz, Vic, Tieg Zaharia, Tom Ingman, Sarah Tyler, Karen Morrison, Edd Bateman, Benjamin McKee, Ben Shanson, Khairoun, Tom Hayes, Jennifer, Mansukh Gudka, Andrew Marler, Madalena, Sally Spurring, Timeless Lifeskills, Anna Debenham, Sarah Pearson, Benjamin Michael Haas, Joseph Hughes, Jeremy and Michele, Mary Gibbs, Mustafa Bal, Clem Hitchcock, Barney Coates, Roger Billins, Nadim, Laura Kehoe, Jenner del Vecchio, Olivia Sutton, Michael, Matt King, Anna Batchelor, Omar Al-Qattan, Harsh Persad, Steve Cole, Josh Coppersmith Heaven, Damian Bell, Simon Ardizzone, Kirsten Bode, Lucy Arthur.