Director Dempsey Rice (HBO’s multi-award-winning Daughter of Suicide) today launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for her feature documentary THE ANIMATED MIND OF OLIVER SACKS. Rice spent more than a decade interviewing the renowned author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, MD; the only filmmaker ever allowed such extended on-camera access.

Funds raised through the campaign will assist in the production of the film, which uses animation, interviews, archival material, and live-action to uniquely immerse viewers into Dr. Sacks’ powerful stories, personal anecdotes, and miraculous patient case studies.

THE ANIMATED MIND OF OLIVER SACKS illuminates the life of a man who was unique and idiosyncratic: a weightlifter, a biker, and a doctor who was wildly successful with patient care who chose to practice medicine in challenging, long-term care hospitals in the Bronx. He was a best-selling author (Awakenings, Musicophilia, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat) who was shy and socially awkward. A gay man who didn’t find romantic love until he was in his 70’s and didn’t come out publicly until the last year of his life. He influenced artists from Bjork to Harold Pinter and thinkers from Atul Gawande to W.H. Auden. He was friends with astronauts and long-distance swimmers. He saw the world in words, not in images, and, unsurprisingly, left behind hundreds of boxes of published and unpublished work, journals, and correspondence.

“Throughout our time together, I was consistently awed by Oliver and his deep compassion for all living things. His unfailing curiosity drove him to explore the magic of how our brains work and delve into the extreme joys and sorrows that come with human existence,” said Rice. “My hope is that this film inspires new insight and deep compassion for the human experience, in addition to celebrating Oliver’s irrepressible enthusiasm for, and curiosity about, the human mind.”

Rewards for backers of the Kickstarter campaign include swim caps (Sacks was an avid swimmer), notebooks, mugs, tote bags, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat hat, as well as Dr. Sacks’ favorite t-shirt, emblazoned with the words “Welcome Squid Overlords.” Also available are rare limited editions and signed copies of Dr. Sacks’ books and a Periodic Table quilt.

The film is slated for completion in late 2019 with most rewards delivered to backers by the end of 2018.

THE ANIMATED MIND OF OLIVER SACKS is directed by Dempsey Rice and is produced by Rice and Lori Cheatle of Hard Working Movies (MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A., 51 Birch Street). Kate Edgar, the Executive Director of the Oliver Sacks Foundation is an Executive Producer of the documentary and Joanne Nerenberg is Co-Producer. The award-winning team also includes MetFilm in London (How to Save The World, Sour Grapes) and Thought Café in Toronto, led by Jonathan Corbiere, Director of Animation.

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