Publisher’s Point: Sight — There’s More To Life Than What You See

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

It looks like Angel Studios has done it again, and I never get tired of their, pardon the pun, “vision statement,” which is “creating stories that amplify light.” Their latest offering, which is due to come out Memorial Day weekend is called, simply, Sight. It is based on the true story of Dr. Ming Wang, a world-renowned physician who literally “restores sight unto the blind.”

Ming grew up in Communist China during the terrorist reign of a man who was formerly known as Mao Tse Tung. During what was referred to as the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward, millions of Chinese perished, and that was nearly the story of Ming Wang. His story of coming to America, knowing no one, having only 50 dollars in his pocket, and then graduating magna cum laude from Harvard and inventing a contact lens that has an amniotic membrane that helps eyes heal is genuinely the stuff of legends.

Sight “focuses” on the story of a little girl who had been abandoned in Calcutta. Her stepmother poured sulphuric acid in both of her eyes, and she was left to die in a train station. A Christian missionary group rescued her and rushed her to the States where Dr. Wang was able to restore her sight. Dr. Wang lives in Nashville, and wrote a book about his life entitled, From Darkness To Sight, which is the source for the movie.

I belong to an online group that is kept abreast of Angel Studios, their history, adventures, what they do, and perhaps most importantly for the purpose of this column, how they do it. First of all, they have what they call an Angel Guild, ordinary folks who invest their money in the studio because they want to see remarkable stories brought to the screen that are outstanding as to their craft as well as their content. If the Angel Guild does not feel that a possible film meets their standards, it’s no go in the machine shop. It won’t see the light of day, let alone the cutting room floor.

Angel Studios makes it possible for people who may not be able to afford tickets to see their films through a pay-it-forward program. A theatre will hold pre-purchased tickets, and all you need to do is call them and say that you want to redeem a ticket, no questions asked. Angel also has a flexible ticket reservation. Say you purchase a ticket online for a particular showing, and something comes up. As long as you call an hour before the show time, you can reschedule for another showing rather than lose the use of the ticket.

Another thing that Angel Studios has done to solidify their “David-and-Goliath” image that is giving Hollywood fits is to encourage people to purchase their tickets several weeks before a premiere. That way, theatres have an early peek at the level of popular demand and the film can gain wider distribution. As of this writing, more than 32,000 tickets have been pre-purchased for Memorial Day weekend, which is just unheard of. It looks entirely possible that Sight is going to do this year what Sound of Freedom did a year ago: raise awareness and defy the odds. Get your tickets now in order to experience what Ming Wang had to learn through embracing faith: “There’s more to life than what you see.”