Sept. 28, 2016
To coincide with World Sight Day on October 13, PBS affiliate stations in the U.S. will be airing “SIGHT – The Story of Vision.” Additionally, the film will be provided to international broadcasters for global distribution.
The one-hour documentary, narrated by Sir Elton John, traces the progress in eyecare and vision solutions over the past 800 years, as well as the growing worldwide vision crisis and efforts undertaken by individuals and organizations to resolve it. The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that reducing visual impairment is a global public health problem, and consequently, is one of the main goals of the WHO’s Global Action Plan for 2014 – 2019, “Universal Eye Health.”
Poor vision reduces productivity and has measurable, negative consequences of quality of life, education and success at work. Ninety percent of visually impaired individuals with no access to modern eye and vision care live in developing countries. The WHO estimates that the world’s gross-domestic product could be $271 billion higher if all of these people could get refractive correction and proper access to medical eyecare.
“But when you widen the rather confined definition of ‘visual impairment,’ and also start looking at the numbers of people affected by poor vision in general that could be easily treated with a pair of glasses, we are no longer talking about millions of people, but billions,” says Kris Koenig, filmmaker and director of SIGHT.
“SIGHT reminds all of us what the vision care industry, optometry and eye medicine is truly for: to give human beings the best possible vision, enable them to see the world, and contribute to the progress of humanity by improving lives through our products and services,” says Jens Boy, president of ZEISS Vision Care in North America, which, along with Luxottica, sponsored a showing of the film at Vision Expo West. “There is a long way to go to provide all people around the globe with access to vision care and eye medicine. But this groundbreaking documentary shows many examples from across the globe on how the public and private sectors, as well as individuals, can and are collectively fighting the global vision crisis.”