MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Saturday, August 14, 2010

NHK Team Creates inspiring Documentary celebrating the life and Legacy of Helen Keller

Top Notch Film Crew From Japan Comes to Massachusetts to Find the Story of the True Helen Keller



August 10, 2010 – A team from NHK Japan Public Broadcasting Corporation has spent a good deal of this summer in the US creating two documentary programs to celebrate the life and legacy of Helen Keller during her 130th birthday year. The crew (L-R sound engineer Masaki, renowned videographer Yukio, stateside producer Kayoko Mitsumatsu, and director Miwa) filmed students and educators at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA, to capture modern day methods of educating children who, like Helen Keller, are deafblind. Keller’s famous “Miracle Worker” teacher Annie Sullivan was a graduate of Perkins, and brought Keller to Boston to study at the school in the late 1800’s.

A 90-minute Helen Keller documentary special profiles her life, dispelling myths and depicting her true self. Interviews capturing Perkins students and an alumnus seek to reveal "contemporary Helen Kellers" working toward their highest potential for independent living.

In a 30-minute educational documentary, NHK will focus on comparing deafblind education and lifestyle in Japan versus the US. Practices and policies in Japan lag behind the US, since deafblindness is not yet recognized as an independent disability there. Mitsumatsu and her colleagues hope to enlighten viewers about the potential and the possibilities when people who are deafblind are included in society.

The crew from Japan NHK were guided in their exploration of deafblind education by Perkins School for the Blind professionals such as Assistant Director of Education Services Martha Majors (seated, center) who has worked on the Perkins campus and educated teachers around the world for more than 30 years. (standing L-R Yukio, Miwa, Kayoko Mitsumatsu, Masaki)

Perkins School for the Blind, the nation’s first school for the visually impaired, provides education and services to help build productive, meaningful lives for 115,000 children and adults who are blind, deafblind, including those with additional disabilities in the U.S. and 64 countries worldwide. Founded in 1829, Perkins pursues this mission on campus, in the community and around the world. Learn more online at www.Perkins.org

Photos courtesy of Perkins School for the Blind

CONTACT: Marilyn Rea Beyer, Media & Public Relations Director Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown MA Tel: 617-972-7478 Cell: 617-513-5569 marilynrea.beyer@Perkins.org

NHK CONTACT: Kayoko Mitsumatsu, Associate Producer NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Los Angeles, CA, USA Tel:310-991-9599 Fax:323-932-1220

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