THE CAST


GORDON AND LULIE GUND

GORDON GUND was born on October 15, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio.  He and his wife, LULIE, reside in Princeton, New Jersey; they have two children and six grandchildren. Gordon is the Chairman and CEO of Gund Investment Corporation, a Princeton, NJ firm founded in 1968 that oversees a broad range of investment activities, and Chairman Emeritus of the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB).

Gordon graduated from Harvard University in 1961, where he majored in physical sciences and sociology and played ice hockey. He served in the United States Navy, becoming department head on two destroyers. He then started a banking career, specializing in corporate finance.  

He gradually began going blind in the 1960s due to retinitis pigmentosa. By 1970, at age 30, Gordon was totally blind. In 1971, Gordon and Lulie with other families also affected by retinal diseases co-founded the Foundation Fighting Blindness of Columbia, Maryland, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to finding the causes, treatments and/or cures for retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, and allied retinal degenerative diseases.

The blindness did not prevent him from being active in business and philanthropy. Gordon is the former President of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts. He has honorary doctorates from Gothenburg University in Sweden, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Whittier College and the University of Vermont. He was Lead Director of the Kellogg Company from 1986 to 2016. He was a Director of Corning Incorporated from 1990 to 2013 and served as Lead Director from 2012 to 2013.  

He was the principal owner of the NBA franchise Cleveland Cavaliers from 1983 to 2005 and an owner of three NHL teams including the San Jose Sharks from 1990 to 2002.

He is also a member of the Board of Trustees and Vice President of the Grounds for Sculpture, Inc. in Hamilton, New Jersey, a public non-profit corporation which oversees the operation of The Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey’s foremost sculpture park and museum.

Gordon is an accomplished sculptor himself. Primarily working with briarwood, he sculpts small figures, mostly animals. These maquettes are then enlarged and cast in bronze. He also works in clay. Sculpture for Gordon is a painstakingly slow process. It is not unusual for him to work on a single piece for a year or more.  The results are breathtaking.

 

TONY AND YANNICK DUWÉ

YANNICK was born in Belgium on March 2, 1999. He was nearly blind. His parents spent the first seven years of his life searching for the cause of his condition. They visited every hospital in the country and his father, TONY, sent more than 700 emails to hospitals all over the world.

On the eve of his seventh birthday, they were contacted by Dr. Bart Leroy, Ophthalmologist and Ophthalmic Geneticist affiliated with Ghent University Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

He told them that Yannick was suffering from Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA) and that it would eventually lead to total blindness.  He also told them that a colleague at CHOP was working on a potential treatment.

In 2008, Yannick traveled to Philadelphia to become the first child to participate in a landmark clinical trial using gene therapy to reverse blindness. His motto since then has been “everything for science!”

In Philadelphia, they met gene therapy expert Dr. Jean Bennett and her husband, Dr. Albert Maguire, the surgeon who would perform the procedure on one of his eyes.

In 2012, Yannick had a second surgery on his other eye. He is the first blind child to regain sight using gene therapy. Yannick and his parents travel regularly to Philadelphia for follow-up examinations.

Yannick is currently a senior in high school. Next year, he plans to study psychology at University.

The future looks bright.  

 

DR. JEAN BENNETT

Director of the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics (CAROT) at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, the F.M. Kirby Professor of Ophthalmology, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and Director of the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics (CAROT) at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, is a pioneer in retinal gene therapy. She has developed gene transfer approaches to test treatment strategies for retinal degenerative and ocular neovascular diseases, to elucidate retinal differentiation pathways and to identify pathogenetic mechanisms that lead to blindness.  

Her research, conducted at UPenn over the past 24 years, has established the scientific underpinnings which made it possible to test the first potential definitive retinal gene therapy treatment for patients with blinding retinal degenerations. Dr. Bennett is the Scientific Director of gene therapy clinical trials for a congenital blindness. These studies, carried out at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, are in follow-up in Phase 3 (pivotal) studies and could lead to approval of the first ocular gene therapy drug. This could also be the first approved gene therapy drug in the USA and the first approved gene therapy for a blinding disorder worldwide.  


In January 2015, Dr. Bennett’s team initiated a second gene therapy clinical trial for a blinding disease called Choroideremia. Her lab continues to work hard to develop treatments that could be applied to other genetic and acquired blinding conditions.

 

 

THE CREW


 

TOM SCOTT

Director and Producer

Tom Scott is the Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of The Nantucket Project (TNP). TNP is a media and event company widely hailed for reimagining how short films and live gatherings are done. Richard Saul Wurman, the founder of TED, has called TNP "the most cared for and well-curated thing around."

Tom was an entrepreneur long before it was cool. In 1989 he co-founded the beverage company Nantucket Nectars with Tom First. The Cinderella story of "Tom and Tom," as the business duo was known, was the subject of a popular Harvard Business School case study and has since become a piece of modern business lore. The company reached national prominence, appearing on the “Inc. 500” list of fastest growing U.S. companies five years in a row.

After selling Nantucket Nectars to Cadbury Schweppes in 2002, Tom created, directed and produced feature films and tv shows that aired on the likes of HBO, IFC and the Sundance Channel.

Tom helped launch Casey Neistat’s career by creating and producing the HBO show “The Neistat Brothers.”  He produced the documentary film “Apple Pushers” with Edward Norton and co-produced, along with Neistat, Josh and Benny Safdie’s “Daddy Longlegs” - selected by both Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals in 2010.

He is the chairman of the Nantucket Film Festival and is a board member of the Greenwich Film Festival.  An avid pilot, Tom flew a small plane halfway around the world.  He received a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and is currently working towards a Master of Divinity degree at The Yale Divinity School.

 

 


 
 

DANIEL HONAN

Director and Writer

Daniel Honan is the Head of TNP Labs, a production and innovation laboratory that is the media arm of The Nantucket Project. Daniel has written, produced and directed multiple television programs and short films, including Kanju, an official selection at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival Virtual Arcade.

Prior to TNP, Daniel was Managing Editor at Big Think, hailed by Time magazine as one of the best sites for news and information in 2011. Big Think’s online education venture, The Floating University, was a 2012 Webby Award Honoree.

Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production at Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch from humble origins in 2002. The production team he oversaw in eight markets was nominated for over two dozen Emmy Awards. Daniel has created a wide-ranging series of programs for television - from fresh takes on hyperlocal news to lavish tours of the major wine regions of Europe to unorthodox documentary dispatches from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Daniel graduated with Honors from Brown University in 2000 with a double concentration in English and Modern Culture and Media. His articles and book reviews can be read at The Hartford Courant, Big Think, George Mason University’s History News Network and many others.


AARON NEU

DOP and Editor

Aaron Neu has been shooting since he could push the little red button. Raised at the end of Long Island, his eye for storytelling was recognized at a young age. An intrepid filmmaking nomad, his pursuits have brought him from Manhattan to the mountains and beyond.

After honing his skills as cameraman and editor for Emmy award-winning Plum TV, Aaron joined TNP in 2010, and is the team’s Director of Photography. He has worked on many of the company’s films including “Richard Saul Wurman: The Architect of Ideas”, “Shirt”, “Kanju", and “Reclaim Democracy”.  

Bringing color and texture to Gordon Gund’s world has been the most rewarding experience of his career thus far.


PAMELA DUEVEL

Producer

Pamela Duevel is Director of Events for The Nantucket Project.  “The Illumination” is her producing debut.  

Pamela has more than twenty-five years’ experience as a public relations executive.  Formerly a publicity director at Simon & Schuster, Pamela has created publicity campaigns for Neil Simon, Hillary Clinton, Lou Reed, Bob Woodward, The Duchess of York, Henry Kissinger, and Diane Von Furstenberg, to name just a few.  

Prior to TNP, she consulted for the Taunton Press overseeing marketing and publicity for their line of cookbooks and Fine Cooking magazine, and in 2002 served as Acting Media Relations Director of The New York Times.  She also created the ongoing speakers series for Elm Street Books in New Canaan, CT, and was featured in The New York Times for the store’s success in attracting A-List authors.  

Pamela received a Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College and has a graduate degree from the Denver Publishing Institute.  


 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

 Christine Vachon  (Boys Don't Cry, Far from Heaven, Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

 Holly Gordon (Girl Rising)

Jenelle Ferri

 

WITH FURTHER SUPPORT FROM: 

Jennifer Hobdy

 

ANIMATION CREDITS:   

Melissa Ferrari, “The Eye”, 

Malo Lacroix, “Blindness” 

Na Yon Cho, “Shapes & Things”

 

PUBLICITY: Patty Chang Anker

LEGAL SERVICES:  David Kuhn

MUSIC CLEARANCES:  Pamela Duevel, John McCullough

MUSIC CREDITS:

“Lux 1” Written and performed by Brian Eno |  Published by Opal Limited, administered by Royalty Network, Inc | David Platz Music Inc | Recording courtesy of Opal Limited administered by Bucks Music Group Limited

 “The Ship” Written and performed by Brian Eno | Published by Opal Limited, administered by Royalty Network, Inc | David Platz Music Inc | Recording courtesy of Opal Limited administered by Bucks Music Group Limited

“Lento” Written by: Howard Skempton | Performed by Mark Wigglesworth and the BBC Symphony Orchestra Courtesy of NMC Recordings Ltd

“Both Sides Now” Performed by Joni Mitchell Courtesy of Reprise Records By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” Written by: Peter Townshend | Performed by The Who Courtesy of Geffen Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises | Published by: Spirit Four Music o/b/o Spirit Services Holdings, S.à.r.l., Abkco Music Inc., Suolubaf Music (GMR)

 

SPECIAL THANKS:                    

The Gund Family

The Duwé Family

Foundation Fighting Blindness

Cleveland Cavaliers

University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Jean Bennett

Robert Redford

Melanie Blum

John McPhee