Sponsors are featured in Working While Blind Documentary Series:
WHAT: Four short films (30 mins each) showing techniques and tools that aid in success at work/play while being blind.
SHOWN WHERE: blindDANCE Film Festival, Sedona International Film Festival (pre-accepted and featured), - also available for streaming online after the first round of film festivals. - Become a sponsor starting at 500.
Sponsorship WHY: Imagine our protagonists supported by your organization (on camera during the documentary) while in their own setting and life, succeeding at what they love. email@example.com - PRESS RELEASE is at the bottom of this page.
Blind, In Love, Living Sedona
“BLIND, in love, LIVING SEDONA” is a short documentary (30 mins) featuring the story: Strides found both in the marriage and business of a man as he is learning to thrive blind, even inventing a new hiking cane and clothing line to sport on the trails of SEDONA.
Join Sedona Dave and hit the trails. This film is completed - Click to WATCH -
Simply needs a segment featuring your organization.
What Sound Looks Like
Eddie Echo is a singer songwriter who is blind and music is literally his business, as you can book time in his studio.
Join Eddie Echo as he creates art in real-time, and works his magic in the studio recording and guiding others (who have a healthy respect for anyone who can run a sound board without looking at it). - Scheduled to film in Nashville in May.
World Class, Sister Duo, While Blind
Sisters, Melissa Escobio and April Lufriu are always having adventures, going blind and supporting one another is only one of them.
April is Mrs World (2012), Mrs. America and Mrs. Florida, she also served as a spokesperson for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Mellisa was there to support her every step of the way.
Additionally Melissa has been a support to April upon the news that her own son is also living with Retinitis Pigmentora.
- Scheduled to Film in March.
MAGIC, While Blind
Ryan Fox had a brain tumor removed at the age of NINE, it left him legally blind and deaf. He is a serious magician who is hired to travel and amaze audiences both large and small.
He has recently accepeted a position in Public Relations with Guide Dogs of the Desert, and helping students who are blind with their guide dogs.
Join us as we document his final (socially distanced/virtual) magic show in AZ and for the move to CA and for his first day at work. - Scheduled to film in Feb.
What is blindDANCE Film Festival?
Winners of the online portion of the blindDANCE Film Festival (with various categories with prizes throughout the year) are invited to premiere their films (in person) next year, in Baltimore November of 2021, with a prescreening of select films at the blindDANCE Theatre at the Sedona International Film Festival, this honor and newest partnership brought about due to the latest blindDANCE film BLIND, in love, LIVING SEDONA.
“We are honored to work with Sedona Dave for this film, and grateful he is supporting film making among people who are blind by hiring the Working While Blind film crew,” says blindDANCE CoFounder Ben Fox, who is legally blind and a former Sundance filmmaker, who at the age of 18 had two milestones that would change everything.
Fox was one of the first teens to have a film in Sundance’s Gen-Y Theatre, and was told a few months later he may be facing blindness,
“My heart broke. I erased Hollywood from the five year plan and penciled in preparations to go blind.” Fox says at that time, he simply didn’t understand someone could have vision for filmmaking and succeed without sight. Which is why, he says blindDANCE is highlighting the motto of ’no limits’ for the blind. The categories of the festival are focused on succeeding without sight, while thriving in life, and especially at work. Organizers say it is their hope that employers take note of the “how” behind each of the stories shared of success.
Prizes for outstanding films include: cash, trips to film workshops, cool cutting edge technology, and (perhaps top of the list) several paid positions or projects (with blindDANCE Studios) in the movie business. “Can win prizes? You can, If you have five minutes and a story, succeeding without sight. You are filmmaker if you have a cell phone and a camera. Who knows, maybe this is the moment the world learns about your story,” says Bari Azman, President of the Board, for the parent organization of blindDANCE, the Lannie D. Chesapeak Lighthouse.
Several full-length films have already been accepted, submitted by award winning filmmakers. These films have been assembled for the first time together in one festival, in one place with a unique category for films made before 2020 by filmmakers who are blind. You may have seen one of the great films, like Driving Blind, circulating other film festivals recently.
blindDANCE is arriving year one, out of the gate, with some impressive partnerships bringing technology and accessibility to any filmmaker who has a desire to share their story, announcing Aira as the title sponsor for the event. How does this help filmmakers who are blind? Aira, through a smart phone, delivers instant access to visual information at the touch of a button – enhancing everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence by pairing individuals with sight-loss with highly trained agents (who view the camera feed through the client’s smartphone).
“You can make films with Aria’s help. We are proud to offer a pool of 10,000 Aira minutes to be given as scholarships to blindDANCE filmmakers,” says Aira CEO Troy Otillio. "Also, we are excited to award a stipend for a paid spot on our next online advertising campaign, to the winner of the Aira film category: 'Working While Blind with Aira’."
“The motto ‘No Limits’ for the blind is a slogan coined and exemplified by the American Foundation for the Blind. We are pleased to note AFB has category in the blindDANCE film festival honoring Hellen Keller, as we all celebrate the 100-year anniversary of AFB in 2021,” says Azman. The Working While Blind crew recently enjoyed working with the CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind, Kirk Adams while filming a series produced for the jobseeker who is blind by blindDANCE studios. “blindDANCE and LD Lighthouse are poised to make a real impact for good in the blindness community, and potentially a significant impact to the unemployment rate as well,” says Adams.
Additionally, blindDANCE recently put plans in motion to develop a category featuring films about policies, legislation and the process for advocating for rights as a person who is blind, inspired after consulting with the President of the National Federation of the Blind, Mark Ricabono.
Those who are blind and new to filmmaking, and looking for a good place to start, consider the monthly filmmaking workshops (sponsored by Aira and blindDANCE Studios). “Students will learn the fundamentals of storytelling, the positions on a film-crew and what those roles entail. We will hear from actual industry professionals who ARE working while blind right now,” says Fox. blindDANCE Studios is currently in production with three full-length documentary film projects. Working While Blind, See Sedona Blind, and Blind Faith documenting the story of a woman (blind at birth) who visits the orphanage and area in India, for the first time since she was left alone at the age of four.
Filmmakers may enter to win the "Five Minute Thrive” Story contest right away by submitting videos to the blindDANCE Film Festival Facebook page. Share how you succeed without sight at life and or at work. A number of winners will win an all-expanses paid trip to one of three, filmmaking workshops in 2021, located in Sedona (AZ), Baltimore (MD) or join us on the beach of Rocky Point Mexico in May. Visit blindDANCEstudios.org for details on these contests and submission timelines and details. Currently we have the ability to award a total of 20 scholarships, conditions permitting. These workshops last 5 days, action packed, full of fun, learning and good food, as we film video to share with the world. For inquiries about blindDANCE Studios or the working with the Working While Blind film crew, email: firstname.lastname@example.org