By Tom Collinson
"I think what your eyesight does is confirm other senses," says James Robertshaw, a world champion kite flyer and for two years personal assistant to Rory Heap. Heap has been blind from birth, but with Robertshaw’s assistance pursues his ambition for kite flying- particularly of complicated figure eight patterns. Using all of his senses except for sight, Heap learns how to fly a kite with the same dexterity that Robertshaw uses to guide him through busy city streets.
Exhilaratingly flying kite patterns like he’s playing a musical score, weaving gracefully through the sky, Heap considers flying, “The Eight Wonder of the World.” Flying People questions our notions of disability, but ultimately is a simple human story about two people whose lives have come together due to their passion for flight. “[Kite flying] is not about triumphing over adversity, but realizing you’ve still got things to do,” says Heap.
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“A film about the passion for flight and the will to overcome any handicap or obstacle that might deny it, Collinson’s film has the same kind of single-minded devotion as Werner Herzog’s classic Little Dieter Needs to Fly... [its] power derives from its understatement, [the] ability to allow the viewer to reach their own conclusions, and the distance from the subject that is the hallmark of most good documentary filmmaking.‘’ Shane Danielson, Edinburgh International Film Festival
“Cherishable” The List, 2004
"A simple, kind story about the better side of living life." Warren Hawkes, Library, New York State Nurses Association, Educational Media Reviews Online
Awards & Conference Screenings
Edinburgh International Film Festival,
Official Selection, 2004
Picture This Film Festival,
Winner, Honorable Mention, 2005
The Other Film Festival, Official Selection,
Melbourne, Australia 2006
Krasnogorski International Film Festival, Official Selection, Moscow, Russia, 2005
Festival Assim Vivemos, Official Selection,
Rio and Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2005
Raindance Film Festival,
Official Selection, London, 2004
Microdocumentales, Official Selection, Chile, 2004
Selected by the British Council
for entry into International Film Festivals 2005
Edges of Perception: Eleven-year-old Jessica has Stargardt's, an inherited eye disease. She is legally blind, but with the calm, determined support of her parents and teachers she attends a regular classroom, plays soccer, and is a serious runner. She wants to meet her inspiration, Marla Runyan, a legally blind Olympic runner who also has Stargardt's.
White Cane and Wheels: Carmen and Steve once dreamed of lives on stage and screen, but their plans were cut short by her blindness and his muscular dystrophy. This program is a funny and touching exploration of a relationship filled with frustration, but held together with patience, stubbornness, forgiveness and love.
See What I'm Saying: As a deaf child from a hearing, Spanish-speaking family, learns signing, we also see growth in her confidence, self-esteem, and family relationships.
Voices in a Deaf Theater: Follows a cast of deaf and hearing actors as they prepare to stage The Glass Menagerie. Offers a window into the expressive language and culture of the deaf world.
A Sign of the Times: High school basketball player Diondre can't hear the shouts of coaches, teammates and referees, or the cheers of the crowd. Working with his school's sign-language interpreter, he's become a star.