The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production


The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks is a journey into the mind and work of world-renowned neurologist and author Dr. Oliver Sacks, one of the most fascinating figures and compassionate medical minds of our time. 


Filmmaker Dempsey Rice’s decade of exclusive interviews and Oliver’s self-made personal recordings combine with animation, archival material (including Oliver’s own never before seen photographs), and cinematic new filming, to take this film beyond conventional biography and into Oliver’s world in a way not seen before, revealing his creative and professional struggles, his complicated internal life, as well as his deeply humane philosophy of patient care and his eventual success and fame as a writer and thinker.


Dempsey Rice, Director/Producer, explores themes of connection, personal story, relationship and identity in her filmmaking.


Dempsey Rice - Director Producer

Dempsey's feature documentary film Daughter of Suicide (1999, 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 NY Emmy as the Series Producer of IMNY. Her hyper-local project, The Listening Project: Brooklyn (2013, 133 short films) aired on Brooklyn Independent Television.   Dempsey is the only American director to have ever received a grant from the British Film Institute. She received this for The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks, which has also received funding from the “Made in New York” Women’s Film, TV & Theatre Fund, NYSCA, The Jerome Foundation, The Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund and several private family foundations. The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks was part of the inaugural pitch event CPH:SCIENCE at CPH:DOX and participated in the Meet Market at the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival. Dempsey incubated The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks as a “Made in New York” Fellow at the Made in New York Media Center by IFP.

Lori Cheatle - Producer

Lori Cheatle is a producer of over 20 award-winning films and the founder of Hard Working Movies a director-driven production company with an appetite for bold, high-profile narratives. Her feature documentaries include MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. (2018) directed by Steve Loveridge, which won a Special Jury award at Sundance and the IDA Award for Best Music Documentary; I Am Another You by Nanfu Wang, which won two jury awards at SXSW and is released by FilmRise and Independent Lens; KIKI (IFC Films) directed by Sara Jordeno. KIKI premiered at Sundance 2016 and won the Berlin Teddy Award, the Kathleen Edwards Bryan Human Rights Award and Independent Spirit Award and GLAAD award nominations; CAPTIVATED: The Trials of Pamela Smart, directed by Jeremiah Zagar for HBO/Sky Atlantic, which premiered at Sundance and has been released in over 80 countries; Amy Hardie’s critically acclaimed The Edge Of Dreaming and her BAFTA nominated Seven Songs For A Long Life; This Land Is Your Land, selected for the Whitney Biennial; and three films by Doug Block, all co-productions with HBO, including the audience favorite 112 Weddings, The Kids Grow Up and 51 Birch Street, which was named one of New York Times 10 Best Films of the Year. She is the Executive Producer of Hail, Satan? (2019) directed by Penny Lane and produced by Gabriel Sedgwick, which premiered at Sundance and is in release through Magnolia Pictures.  She is the recipient of the 2019 Amazon Sundance Producers award.

Jonathan Corbiere - Director of Animation

Jonathan Corbiere is the Creative Director/Co-Founder of Thought Café and is educated in graphic design, film and visual effects. He has taught Masters students in the Digital Media graduate program at UBC/Emily Carr and has over 10 years of managing creatives in a studio environment. Through serving in the Canadian Forces as well as founding various start-ups Jonathon is a natural leader. During his early years of freelance work in the film, television and advertising industry, Jonathon realized that communicators have an inherent responsibility to spread important and relevant knowledge with their mediums. Jonathon is currently directing animation on factual based series and films at Thought Café while also running a future focused technical consulting think tank called Futuretalk.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2024
Recipient, Made in NY Women's Film, Theater & TV Fund Grant 2019
Recipient, BFI Film Grant 2018
Participant, CPH:SCIENCE Pitch Forum, Spring 2018
Recipient, NYSCA Grant 2018
Participant, Sheffield Doc Fest Meet Market, Summer 2017
Recipient, Jerome Foundation Grant 2017
IFP Film week, Fall 2016
Participant, IFP Screen Forward Lab, 2016
Recipient, Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund Grant, 2016
Fellow, Made in NY Media Center by IFP, 2015-16


UPDATE - May 19, 2019

The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks was honered by the Creative Capital Foundation as one of 50 noteworthy projects to keep an eye on in 2019.

UPDATE - July 27, 2018

We wrapped up our Kickstarter campaign on July 19, 2018.  If you contribute to The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks before August 1, 2018 you can still get a campaign perk!  You must email us and tell us which perk you would like.  Contribute that amount here + the cost of shipping, and you will receive your perk this fall. For contributions below $150, please add $5 for US shipping and $10 for international shipping.  For contriubtions above $150, shipping will be free.

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