"an extraordinary piece of work"
Special thanks to the cinemas who have held private and accessible screenings of Whirlpool
Music to be felt, not only heard
World premiere percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie, and 2x Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA-winning composer, Jered Sorkin created a compelling score that transcends 2-dimensional cinema and connects to the raw drive of Helen Keller. Watch the trailer to the documentary Making a Whirlpool.
“I am extremely proud to be a part of Whirlpool – an immensely powerful short film recognising the extraordinary life of Helen Keller. The sensitivity, weight, power and message of this film is portrayed in a way that is so relevant to each and every one of us. Being co-composer with Jered Sorkin was an absolute joy and together our aim was to delve into the very heart of Helen’s unique mind whereby she too became a composer! The vision, dedication and talents of Kate Baxter and Elizabeth Dixon are second to none and together we hope Whirlpool will keep the legacy of Helen Keller alive."
-Dame Evelyn Glennie
Our crew and cast are made up of Academy Award, BAFTA, Emmy, and Grammy-nominated and -winning individuals across the international film scene.
As Whirlpool creators (Kate Baxter and Elizabeth Dixon) read Helen Keller's words, interviewed experts and Helen's and other character's loved ones, it moved them to create beyond the short film. With a feature film screenplay, a documentary in production about topics close to Helen Keller, and a partnership for new technologies for better accessibility, this project is the gateway to a continuation of the work that Helen Keller began in the early 1900’s.
Research Support: Interviews and research with groups from the RNIB, Scope, Sense, AFB, Helen Keller Archive archivist, Helen Selsdon and other Helen Keller experts, led to a more authentic portrayal of disability on screen, as well as accessibility product concepts. With a written feature length script expanding upon Whirlpool the short film, Five Fifty Five Productions is now in pre-production.
Technology Partnership: The Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College are interested in using technology to create experiences that empowers growth in organisations and people. In partnership with Five Fifty Five Productions, a team of researchers are currently researching technology concepts, and seeking development funding, to allow people with sight loss to better engage with 2-dimensional media, and specifically the cinematic arts. The Five Fifty Five Productions and the Dyson School’s aim is to release this technology in tandem with Whirlpool, the feature film’s release date.
2017 is the 100 year anniversary of the film's events
51% of cast & crew are women
88% of department heads held by women & minorities
Budget under £15k
Filmed in 3 consecutive days, & script to screen in 1 month
Sourced team of 70+ people in 2 weeks
12 countries represented in cast & crew
14 expert advisors, over 50 interviews & over 1,000 articles and books read
Filmed on 16mm Kodak film