Brazilian filmmaker releases DVD of the award-winning documentary Beyond the Light in New York
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Brazilian filmmaker releases DVD of the award-winning documentary Beyond the Light in New York

November 29, 2012, 10:33 am
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After receiving awards at film festivals in China and Mexico and traveling to six countries screening his procuction Beyond the Light, now it's time for film producer Marcelo Nigri to release on DVD this documentary that shows the reality of the blind in Brazil and in the United States and one of the pioneers in the audio description technique: all the scenes that appear on screen are narrated, which enables the blind to go to the movies and “watch” the film.  The DVD release and special screening of the film will take place on November 30 at the centennial Lighthouse International, a pioneer institution in New York of sight rehabilitation treatment and specialized in helping visually impaired people to adapt to daily challenges.

The film is an independent production as well as its DVD distribution. That’s a challenge that Nigri decided to take, after turning down three proposals from established distribution companies.  “If I give the film to any of them, there’s no guarantee at all that we’ll receive a single dollar for our work,” complains Nigri about the distribution companies that, as a rule, recoup all of their expenses before passing on any money to the filmmakers.  “Beyond the Light has been a challenging procuction since the beginning and I’m ready to face this new challenge too.  Filmmakers are becoming even more independent today, and that includes the distribution phase,” completes Nigri.

Beyond the Light was directed by Yves Goulart and shot in the countryside of Santa Catarina, Rio de Janeiro, New York and France.  Seven blind Brazilians show with great optimism, humor and boldness how they live a normal life, and even a more productive life than many ordinary people.  When it comes to visual impairment, we are often led to think of something sad and limiting, but Beyond the Light is one of the rare films about disability that leaves us inspired, motivated and more enthusiastic about life.  The importance of Louis Braille in this process of adaptation of the blind to a normal life is indescribable, and so the film portrays the the story of Louis Braille, who became blind at the age of three and was the creator of the reading and writing system, which opened the doors of knowledge for those who can’t see.

The film also had special screenings by invitation at the UN, in New York, UNESCO, in Paris, and the Brazilian Federal Senate, in Brazil, during the Week Honoring Persons with Disabilities.  The screenings are usually a real breach of protocol.  Most of the theaters are not used to receiving the visually impaired people and when they arrive with their guide dogs, it can generate discussion.  “At UNESCO, in Paris, the event was almost canceled because they were not prepared and did not allow dogs in the building.  But that is the law around the world.  The visually impaired people are entitled to be accompanied by their guide dogs,” says Nigri.  Besides the controversy, the screenings are also full of emotion: “Many of the visually impaired people who come to the screenings have never been to the movies, because the regular films don’t have audio description, which makes it difficult for them.  That’s why the film as well as the DVD feature audio description in English, Portuguese and French.  “We decided to make a film about blind people and it would be hypocritical of us not to include them in our audience,” concludes Nigri.

Author: Joao Vianna
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Brazilian filmmaker releases DVD of the award-winning documentary Beyond the Light in New York
Brazilian filmmaker releases DVD of the award-winning documentary Beyond the Light in New York
Source: Joao Vianna
Thursday 29 November 2012