World beyond sight inspires award-winning film Notes on Blindness

Scenes from the film Notes on Blindness which has been directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney

Scenes from the film Notes on Blindness which has been directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney. Image: submitted. - Credit: submitted

An award-winning film about a man's journey to come to terms with blindness is to get its Norwich premiere this week.

Scenes from the film Notes on Blindness which has been directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney

Scenes from the film Notes on Blindness which has been directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney. Image: submitted. - Credit: submitted

Notes on Blindness will be screened at Cinema City from Friday and has been co-directed by Peter Middleton, a former student of Norwich School of Art and Design (now Norwich University of the Arts), and James Spinney, who has links to King's Lynn.

The poignant film is inspired by an audio diary created by Professor John Hull, a writer and theologian who taught at the University of Birmingham and who lost his sight in the 1980s. He published his recordings in the book Touching the Rock.

Thirty-three-year-old Mr Middleton, whose parents Andrea and Richard live in Norwich, said: 'The film charts John's period of adjustment to sight loss - what starts from a position of loss and grieving over time becomes a journey of discovery and awareness as John discovers this world beyond sight.'

Prior to making the 90-minute feature film, Mr Middleton and Mr Spinney created two short films based on Professor Hull's diary and one received an Emmy Award. Professor Hull sadly died, aged 80, a couple of weeks into the making of the feature film, and Mr Middleton said he hoped the film could stand as a tribute to Professor Hull's life and work.

The film Notes on Blindness is inspired by John Hull's audio diary about a world beyond sight. He is

The film Notes on Blindness is inspired by John Hull's audio diary about a world beyond sight. He is pictured with his wife Marilyn. Photo: submitted. - Credit: submitted

The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January and has received glowing reviews as well as awards including the Special Jury Prize at the San Francisco Film Festival and the Innovation and Storytelling Award at the Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Mr Middleton said: 'It's wonderful to see audiences connecting with John's story.'

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A virtual reality experience created alongside the film has also won awards and the filmmakers are also creating alternative soundtracks for Notes on Blindness as part of a campaign to make films more accessible to visually-impaired audiences.

Notes on Blindness is at Cinema City from Friday. Visit www.picturehouses.com and www.notesonblindness.co.uk

Peter Middleton (left) and James Spinney, directors of the film Notes on Blindness. Photo: Roberta M

Peter Middleton (left) and James Spinney, directors of the film Notes on Blindness. Photo: Roberta Matis. - Credit: Roberta Matis

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