THE DIARY: Blind enthusiasm

Georgia Ball
Georgia Ball
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“IT was a hard film to make because we didn’t want to influence anything,” says Georgia Ball.

“There was one point when Charlotte was walking down the road and we could see she was going to bump into a post.

“But we didn’t say anything. We let her walk into it and filmed it. Crash.”

Such were the ethical issues faced by Georgia and three other Sheffield film-makers when they created a documentary about Charlotte Proctor.

The 22-year-old has been registered blind since birth.

Another time the quartet – Georgia as well as Kate Nicholson, Annabel Dyer and Melissa Blake – sat wincing as their subject chopped vegetables for dinner.

“She got so close to her fingers,” says Georgia. “I kept thinking she was going to cut the tips off.”

It was, it turns out, worth the grimacing.

The resulting nine minute documentary – created as part of their Sheffield Hallam University film and media production degree – has struck such a chord, it has been chosen to be shown around the country as part of next year’s National Eye Health Week.

The film, called Where Am I, will be screened online and at venues across the country as part of a campaign to raise awareness about blindness.

It also received a runner up award at the Leeds Young People’s Film Festival, and was selected for the prestigious Cinematique Festival in London.

Safe to say, the foursome, who are all 20 and live in the Ecclesall Road area, are pretty pleased.

“It’s incredible to think something you’ve made might help with something so important,” says Kate.

They spent four days following Charlotte around, as well as conducting interviews.

“We tried not to interfere with her life,” says Georgia again.

“But she let us go to work with her, go shopping, go out with her boyfriend. She’s an inspiration.”

And Charlotte, is pretty pleased with the finished product too.

Flicking between the amusing, such as when a passer-by is amazed a blind person is wearing high heels, to the heart-rending – “you have to trust people to tell you what you look like,” says Charlotte at one point – it offers an incredible insight into a world few of us think about.

Now all five of them are hoping the film really can help change perceptions.

If it does, it will have been worth bumping into that post for.

n Where Am I can be watched on YouTube now.