The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks


A newly uncovered trove of audio tapes and archive affords an intimate journey into the fantastical mind and groundbreaking work of beloved Jewish neurologist and author, Dr. Oliver Sacks– one of the most creative and influential thinkers of our time and the man who helped found the modern neurodiversity movement.

Phase of Support: Post-Production

Dempsey Rice

Dempsey Rice - Director, Producer

Dempsey explores themes of connection, personal story, relationship, and identity in her filmmaking. She believes that exploring pivotal moments in an individual’s life can speak to our universal human experience. Her film Daughter of Suicide (HBO) received a Cine Golden Eagle, a National Council on Family Relations Media Award, and a National Mental Health Association Media Award. She is the recipient of a New York Emmy for Outstanding Teen Programming and an Aurora Gold Award for Youth Documentary as the Series Producer of IMNY (I Am New York). She was a Fellow at the Made in New York Media Center by IFP (2015-2016) where she launched her current project The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks. Her hyper-local project, The Listening Project: Brooklyn (133 short films) aired on Brooklyn Independent Television.

Lori Cheatle

Lori Cheatle - Producer

Lori is the founder of Hard Working Movies, a director-driven production company with an appetite for bold, beautiful, high-profile narratives. The award-winning films she’s produced have screened at all the top international film festivals, in cinemas, on TV, and major platforms worldwide. Films include Dreaming Walls, executive produced by Martin Scorsese (Magnolia Pictures/Hulu); Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. winner of a Special Jury Award at Sundance and the IDA award for Best Music Documentary; Kiki (IFC Films), which premiered at Sundance, won the Berlin Teddy Award, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award; Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart (HBO/Sky Atlantic), directed by Jeremiah Zagar; 51 Birch Street HBO) by Doug Block, selected as a New York Times 10 Best Film of the Year; Seven Songs for a Long Life (dir. Amy Hardie, BBC/POV) nominated for a BAFTA; and many others. She received the Sundance Amazon Producers Award.

Project logline and bios courtesy of the grantees.