Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired the U.S. rights to Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s debut feature documentary “Notes on Blindness,” Variety has learned.
The deal was closed at the Cannes Film Festival, where its virtual reality companion piece “Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness” is screening as part of the virtual reality lineup. The short film won an Emmy.
Middleton and Spinney’s film was featured alongside “Into Darkness” at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Oscilloscope will release the film in theaters later this year.
“Notes on Blindness” is based on the audio diary of John Hull, beginning in 1983. After years of deteriorating vision and just days before the birth of his first son, the writer and theologian lost the last traces of light sensation and, for the next three years, kept an audio diary of his interior world of blindness.
The film embeds original documentary elements within cinematic interpretations and textured sound design from supervising sound editor Joakim Sundström to take the viewer on a journey deep into what Hull calls “a world beyond sight.”
Oscilloscope acquired the rights from Tel Aviv-based sales company Cinephil. The deal was negotiated by Heather Wyer of Cinephil. The film has also been acquired by Blue Ice Docs in Canada and Artificial Eye in the U.K.
“Challenging what viewers expect a documentary to be, ‘Notes on Blindness’ transcends and furthers the form,” said Oscilloscope chief Dan Berger. “It is unlike anything I’ve seen before and wholeheartedly creates a mode for the viewer to enter a new, unknown world.”
The film is an Archer’s Mark production, in association with Fee Fie Foe Films and 104 Films, and in co-production with Agat Films & Cie and ARTE France. It has been supported by the BFI, Creative England, Impact Partners, ARTE France, Swedish Film Institute, BBC Storyville, Cinereach, BRITDOC, the New York Times and PROCIREP-ANGOA.