Where Sight Fades, Music Speaks. Three visually impaired musicians explore the impact of music on their lives.

How do we adapt when deprived of one our most vital senses? There is very little known by the wider community about sight loss and vision impairment. Most people assume that either you have sight, or you don't. This couldn't be further from the truth, as hundreds and thousands of varying factors and base conditions can drastically impact the sight and visual perception of those affected. Visionaries is a documentary that highlights the incredible variance and scope of sight conditions and how those who experience difference degrees of sight loss experience life and interact with the world around them.

Visionaries quite literally puts the audience into the shoes of the three incredibly inspiring visually impaired musicians by visually recreating their unique sight conditions to help viewers understand how drastically sight loss impact their day-to-day lives.

In this documentary, visually impaired director and musician John Kelly explores the relationship between music and visual impairment by sitting down with three incredibly inspiring musicians who all experience different forms of sight loss resulting in drastically different levels of sight. These musicians truly demonstrate how sight loss does not need to be a barrier that stops those affected from achieving their goals, but merely a situation that can be worked around. Visionaries aims to both educate and inform the wider public about the intricacies and diversity of sight loss, and also the incredible talent and ability of those who live with it every day through the inspiring stories of three visually impaired musicians.

  • John Desmond Kelly
    Masquerade, Nevermore
  • Derek Masterson
  • John Desmond Kelly
    Masquerade, Nevermore
  • Robert Fay
    Director of Photography
  • John Desmond Kelly
    Masquerade, Nevermore
  • John Desmond Kelly
    Masquerade, Nevermore
  • John Desmond KellyKelly
    Sound Designer
    Masquerade, Nevermore
  • Frank Kelly
    Key Cast
  • Conor Maguire
    Key Cast
  • Audrey Tormey
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 10, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
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Director Biography - John Desmond Kelly

John Kelly is a director and filmmaker from Wicklow, Ireland. John studied film and television production in Pulse College (Dublin), where he gained invaluable experience in the craft and business of filmmaking. During his year studying in Pulse, John worked on 25+ short films, a variety of commercial projects for large clients, and a selection of music videos.

In 2019, John decided that he wanted to step out on his own and start producing his own films, and so he established Clap 'n Load Studios. John's goal with this company is to create highly ambitious and engaging film content that pushes the boundaries of what is seen as possible at the given budget.

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Director Statement

Being visually impaired myself, I have always found that the subject of sight loss and visual impairment is very often overlooked in media coverage. For those in the wider public who have no direct connection with visual impairment, and indeed even many that do, the perception is that sight is like a lightswitch; either you have sight, or you don't.

This in face couldn't be further from the truth with hundreds and thousands of different sight conditions resulting in an incalculable variety of resulting sight levels. In this documentary, I wanted to highlight the stories of three incredibly inspiring visually impaired musicians who truly demonstrate that to them their visual impairment is no more than a challenge to overcome.

Many people who experience degradation of their sight, be it gradual or sudden, don't know who to turn to or where to find the information and support they need. It can be an incredibly isolating experience, and it's clear why many who go through it may harbour a negative attitude. However, this documentary shows how common difference can be a unifying attribute, and that music can be an immense benefit to those living with sight loss.