The red carpet premiere for the documentary SIGHT: The Story of Vision took place in Los Angeles recently. This premiere didn't take place on just any old day; it actually took place on a very special date: October 13th.
If you don't know what's so special about October 13th, don't fret. Most readers are probably unaware that the 13th of October is actually World Sight Day. This day was intended to raise awareness of various eye conditions and treatments. Filmmaker Kris Koenig, who directed SIGHT, hopes that his PBS documentary will inform people around the world about the miracle of vision and the growing epidemic of vision loss.
This high quality documentary features many big names both in the entertainment and medical worlds. Sir Elton John narrates this one-hour show that tells viewers all about how our eyes work, the recent scientific breakthroughs in ophthalmology, and a few of the most common eye conditions that are now on the rise.
To better understand the science of sight, Rohit Varma and Mark Humayun are interviewed at length throughout this program. Both of these gentlemen are distinguished eye care specialists at the University of Southern California's Roski Eye Institute. Dr. Varma is best known for his research on childhood myopia, and Dr. Humayun is distinguished for his work on the Argus II retinal prostheses system that is currently helping people with retinitis pigmentosa.
This documentary also tells the stories of many people suffering from a multitude of eye diseases. Koenig went all around the world and interviewed many people from various cultures just to show how common eye problems are on every continent.
Vision loss is becoming such a big problem around the world that members of the World Health Organization (WHO) are actively discussing ways to reduce the global number of eye problems. WHO has also decreed that the rise in eye issues is officially a global public health problem.
In addition to the official documentary, the makers of SIGHT developed an app to share more information with the public. The app is called Second Screen, and users of the app can see a great deal of deleted scenes from the documentary.
For those who would like even more information, the crew that made SIGHT also wrote an e-book. This e-book shares various statistics and interviews from people featured in the documentary.
One very interesting feature people can't see in the PBS documentary is an interview with Terry Byland. Byland is the only person in the world to have two Argus implants. And it was none other than Dr. Humayun that put in these two implants. People can hear Byland's incredible story on both SIGHT's Facebook page and official website.
For viewers out there who are red-green colorblind, the SIGHT documentary will be aired with color correction technology. This is the first time a PBS documentary has used technology to help colorblind people distinguish between red and green. However, you will need to be wearing a pair of Enchroma glasses when the documentary comes on to take advantage of this feature. Filmmakers hope that this new colorblind accessible correction (aka CA) will become as common as closed captioning in the future.
For those interested in viewing SIGHT, the best place to find specific airing time information is from your local PBS station. The documentary will be released on different days from this fall until spring of next year. A few of the PBS stations in major cities that are definitely airing this program include Las Vegas, Phoenix, New York City, and Tampa.