About

Blind Spot; Moments Unseen is a hero’s journey.

Three blind equestrians embark on a life-affirming adventure to defy expectations and search for moments unseen, but not unseeable. The Andes provide a mythical metaphor for everyday blindness in a powerful story of courage, survival and love.

A road movie that travels off-road, the expedition will travel from Estancia Ranquilco – a remote, working cattle ranch in the Andean foothills of Argentina – along meandering goat trails and high mountain passes, up to elevations of 8500 ft.

Blind Spot; Moments Unseen intersects direct cinema with the visual language of classic American westerns transposed to Argentina, with panoramas forever haunted by tales of the frontier spirit.

While the premise of blind sightseeing may seem counter-intuitive, Blind Spot; Moments Unseen reveals the often…unseen. Deep within us all, a familiar picture can emerge from our non-visual senses, like a shy memory hiding behind the eyes.

The film and website narratives include sighted and visually impaired characters; the audience for this story mirrors its participants. The website integrates elegant design with accessible features to create a more immersive experience for all users. Images and videos have descriptive text for screen reader applications, the layout of scalable typefaces enables maximum legibility, high-resolution images can be magnified and ambient audio clips provide a richer sense of moments unseen.

Mountain heath

Cast / Riders

Carly J. Grigg

Carly is a gregarious, visually impaired para-athlete who has medaled internationally in downhill ski, and now hopes to podium in the Paralympics for equestrian dressage. Carly suffers from mitochondrial disease, and though sight-impaired since grade 2, she has always looked beyond her own limits.

Ruth Bieber

Philosophical Ruth knows how to read a room. A professional counseling and rehab therapist, Ruth focuses her practice on clients with disabilities, in search of innovative therapeutic modalities…hence her curiosity about horses. A published author and painter, Ruth’s artistry has led her to a deeper insight about the human condition.

Terry Kelly

Terry is passionate about accessibility and the fullness of sensory experience. He works as a motivational speaker, professional musician and outspoken advocate for literacy. Terry lost his sight at the age of 2. Now he considers himself a “whole-body seer” through the use of echolocation. A gifted fireside raconteur, Terry’s unique way of interpreting the world is infectious.

Cast / Expedition Crew

T.A. Carrithers • Expedition Leader

Lifelong outdoorsman T.A. is the expedition leader. He divides his time between his Californian eco-ranch, and his working cattle ranch and permaculture farm in Argentina. A professional bush pilot and an expert horseman, T.A. is often above the ground, yet he is the most down-to-earth person you’ll ever meet.

Victor Callesen • Expedition Leader

Victor’s introduction to nature came as a child in Denmark, growing up in the countryside. He studied carpentry, then started his own company in Copenhagen, with projects in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Victor works closely with T.A., guiding visitors around the Ranquilco ranch and leading pack trips into the Andes.

Kyala Shea • Guide

An accomplished equestrian and back-country guide, Kyala is a proponent of natural horsemanship. Horsewoman by vocation, rancher by trade, Kyala established a therapeutic farm environment in Mendocino that facilitates horse / human partnerships.

Brett Lovelace • Guide

When not sharing his knowledge of botany, Brett is playing in the dirt overturning rocks in search of new life forms. Brett tirelessly encourages his biology students to embrace the idea that horses can connect us to our better selves.

Stephanie Fillekes • Guide

As a certified Equine Assisted Therapy practitioner, Stephanie has focused her efforts within the blind community. A volunteer with Outward Bound, a competitive equestrian and a student of neuroscience, Stephanie’s affability can spark a campfire.

Hugo Monterola • Cook

Hugo came to Ranquilco in 1979. A master stoneworker and mason, he led the crew that built the Ranquilco lodge. Hugo grew up on an estancia and carries a deep pride in the gaucho lifestyle. He embodies and upholds all of the skills, values and traditions from previous generations.

Creators

Stefan Morel • Producer / Director / Writer / Editor

Stefan is a veteran filmmaker with 25+ years of experience, who brings multiple skills to all of his projects. He’s a director, a cinematographer, a photographer, an editor, a designer, and a writer who creates content for TV, web, mobile, digital OOH, radio and print.

Stefan’s recent filmography includes the award-winning short films “A Century of Horses” and “Voluntary Gestures”. In 2014, he directed, shot and wrote the TV/web series pilot of Free Rein.

In January 2012, Stefan travelled to Argentina for a horseback expedition through the Andes. He was deeply influenced by the gaucho culture, the criollo horses and the breathtaking landscape.

Leslie Haller • Producer / Associate Director

Leslie is a producer with 30+ years of experience in the production and development of documentaries, entertainment programming, multi-platform content and live events.

At CBC, Leslie was Associate Director and Producer of arts documentaries. As a Production Executive, she oversaw programming in arts, comedy, drama, variety and reality. Leslie is now an independent producer and has returned to making docs with an artistic flair.

Recent projects: producing an TV+ web series pilot, Free Rein; consulting on two arts specials with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) and on Season VIII of the Rick Mercer Report; producing a live concert at Toronto’s Koerner Hall with indie music stars Patrick Watson and Amy Millan; and developing a theatre project with artistic director Veronica Tennant.

Heather Marshall • Executive Producer / Business Affairs

Heather’s career spans many aspects and genres of the film, television and digital content business over the past 30 years, including 10 years in banking and a 19 year stint at the CBC in Business & Rights for all genres.

In addition to Blind Spot Moments Unseen, her past documentary credits include “Half the Kingdom”, which was nominated in the Geminis’ Best Documentary Program, Shared Rhythm and Full Circle as well as drama series such as Danger Bay and Inside Stories and live telecasts of past Genies and Geminis awards shows.

Kris Belchevski • Director Of Photography

Kris’s work can be best described as visual, contemporary and cinematic. Kris earned a CSC nomination (Best Cinematography/Dramatic Short) for “Malody”, directed by Philip Barker. Kris also boasts a number of television credits including the TV series “The Travel Guy” and “Gourmet Escapes with Massimo Capra”. Kris has shot TV commercials for Starbucks, The Royal Canadian Mint, Pepsi, and a Louis Vuitton campaign starring Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def). Recently, he traveled to Ghana to shoot a spot for Cadbury’s “Bike Factory.”

Sean Embury • Interactive Producer / Denman Digital

Sean has been creating innovative broadcast and interactive media for 20 years. His company, Denman Digital, works with Canada’s leading broadcasters, film and television producers, publishers, and cultural institutions to tell and extend their stories on emerging digital platforms. The company has a produced a deep portfolio of award winning interactive arts, news, and documentary projects for the NFB, CBC, documentary, APTN, and Knowledge Network.

Whitehorse • Original soundtrack

Whitehorse’s signature sound of love-knotted vocals and risk-taking, blistering guitar work backed by complex layers of percussion, keyboard and telephone receiver amplification makes for captivating listening. Two solo artists, Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, form this duo, which is unquestionably greater than the sum of its formidable parts.

Additional team members:

Co-producer
Lucy Stewart

Audio
David Guerra

Camera Assistant / DMT
Dwain Barrick
Ryan Czyzewski

Sound Design + Mix
Lance Schibler / Imprint Music

Foley Artists
Tim O’Connell
John Seviert

Foley Recordist
Ron Mellegers

Recording Engineer (music)
John Dinsmore / Lincoln County Social Club

Colour Supervisor
Greg Edgar / Alter Ego Post

Colour Coordinator
Jane Garrah / Alter Ego Post

Colour
Conor Fisher / Alter Ego Post

VFX Supervisor
Cheyenne Bloomfield / Alter Ego Post

VFX Coordinator
Caitlin Schooley / Alter Ego Post

VFX Artist
Michelle Demelo / Alter Ego Post

Production Manager
Nora Cooper

Legal Services
Daniel J. Henry

For CBC documentary
Annette Bradford
Bruce Cowley
Jordana Ross

Expedition Crew:
Miranda Ciotti
Jennifer Sofie Gulick
Silvana Manterola
Aly Moyer
Georgia Stewart
Lulu Waks
Alyssa Young

Thanks to:
Marilyn Blanchette
Ashley Carrithers
Bob Culbert
Marcia Douglas

Pam Ennis
Don Ferguson Productions
Silvana Frenquel
Santiago Jara
Robin Mirsky
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Rose Reid
Paisley Statten
Sergio Teubal
Michael Wees
Kristine Yanoff

Blind Spot Team Photo


Estancia Ranquilco
Filmed on location at Estancia Ranquilco

Neuquen Province, Argentina
ranquilco.com

Produced with the participation of:

A Note on Accessible Web Design

We’ve given careful consideration to the inclusive nature of our website design; simplicity is key. 

Our objective is to offer the best possible experience for all audiences without resorting to a “retro-fit” design for visually impaired users. Our accessibility research with visually impaired user-groups led to the development of simple technological solutions to complex navigational and narrative challenges.

Our website features:

  • Text-heavy narrative content
  • Screen reader accessible
  • Descriptive Alt-Texts
  • Large adjustable type sizes
  • High contrast graphical layouts
  • Colourblind accessible palettes
  • Platform flexible and responsive layouts
  • Image magnification tools
  • Enhanced audio
  • Easy-to-read typeface
  • Scrolling content