Sense the Wind

a documentary by Christine Knowlton

Blind sailors race across open water learning not to fear what they cannot see, on boats or on land. Life turns unpredictable as the wind when one of them gains something far more valuable than a trophy and must learn to live and to sail with a new sensibility.

Sense The Wind Teaser - 1:12 min

Sense The Wind Pitch Trailer - 4 min

Our 4 minute Trailer has also been produced with Audio Description to be accessible for those visually impaired or blind. Click here to playAudio Description Play button

ABOUT Sense The Wind

Highlighting ability, not disability, this documentary tells the remarkable story of four individuals who share a unique bond—each is vision impaired and striving to race in Japan’s 2013 Blind Sailing World Championship while navigating all the other challenges in life.

With years of passionate work and much generous support, the film is now complete! We are bringing to light these empowering stories of blind sailors. The film is traveling the world in previews and festivals as we await a full launch with broadcast and VOD.

Below is a calendar of screenings. Please join our project team and support Film Outreach by contributing or facilitating a local screening. Reach out through our contact page.



North Castle Library, Armonk, NY - June 20, 6:30pm
Rhode Island International Film Festival, Newport, RI - August 9-14
Westport Library, Westport, RI - August 22
Perkins School for the Blind, Newton, MA - September 14, 7:00pm
Tufts University Sailing, Medford, MA - September 15, 9:00pm
SUNY Westchester Community College Digital Labs – September 27, 7:00pm
Rowayton Library, Rowayton, CT - October 20, 7:15pm
The Warner Library, Tarrytown, NY – November 19, 2:00pm

Private screening events may not be listed.


Larchmont Yacht Club, Larchmont, NY - January 28
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NY - February 8
Explorers’ Voyage Foundation, Warsaw, Poland - February 13
Bonita Springs Lions Club, Bonita Springs, FL - February 18
Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami, FL - February 23
Helen Hayes Hospital, West Haverstraw, NY – March 16
Socially Relevant NY Film Festival, NY – March 17
Picture This ... Disability Film Festival, Calgary, Canada – March 18
The Summit Film Society, Summit, NJ – April 1
Montrose Free Library, Montrose, NY – April 3
Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, White Plains, NY – April 12
Scarborough Manor Co-op, Ossining, NY - April 27
Carroll Center for the Blind, Newton, MA - May 5
Croton Free Library, Croton-on-Hudson, NY – May 6
City Island Yacht Club, Bronx, NY - May 7th
The Picture House, Pelham Manor, NY - May 24


Marin Sailing School for the Blind/ Island Yacht Club, Oakland, CA - July 15
Chicago Yacht Club Blind World Championships, Chicago, IL - September 10
Jamestown Art Center, Jamestown, RI - September 12
Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Westport, MA - November 5
Maritime Yacht Film Festival, Gdansk, Poland - November 28

For information about attending film showings, please contact:


May 24, 2016
We are thrilled that Sense The Wind will screen mid August in the Rhode Island International Film Festival at the Jane Pickens Theater in Newport. With SailNewport being the long time generous host of blind sailing nationals, much of our film production took place in Rhode Island at the Blind Nationals and the Clagett Regatta. It will be wonderful to have our New England Festival Premiere where it all began. We look forward to an exciting festival week meeting other filmmakers, sailors and film enthusiasts. More information and links will follow when the schedule is announced.

May 9, 2016
It has been just over a year since Sense The Wind was finished and the video description and subtitles created to make the film accessible to everyone. In this year of festivals and outreach previews, well over 1000 people have enjoyed these engaging stories and left with eyes opened more widely. The documentary is traveling the globe, playing in film festivals, at sailing and yacht clubs, in rehab hospitals and disability centers, local libraries and community art galleries. Recently an accessible screening was held at the Carroll Center for the Blind followed by a Q&A featuring characters, Inkiala Sengali and Nancy Jodoin.

We are in the Press! Wonderful articles about the project have recently been published in Boating Times LI and by Yahoo Japan. The tide of interest in the project grows with each showing. And we are thrilled there is interest from distributors to help us reach international broadcasters and empower an even larger global audience. We are on a roll!

Our next screening takes place at the historic The Picture House in Pelham, NY. It is part of their new World View Series funded in part by the Countess Moira Charitable Foundation which grants students with an ID a free movie ticket. Given the large nearby sailing communities and local film lovers, it should be another great evening and engaging Q&A. Many more screenings are ahead and will be added to our calendar list above. Stay tuned!

March 1, 2016
Thanks to the well attended fundraising screening at the Larchmont Yacht Club, a fantastic portable HD AV projection setup was purchased to show the film easily in outreach. All that is needed to bring the film into communities is a screen and power!

The film travelled to South Florida with perfect weather and a warm welcome screening at the Bonita Springs Lions Club in support of Blind Sailing Unlimited and then across the state at Coconut Grove Sailing Club to an engaged group of members. A blind sailing team that included Warrior Sailors, came all the way from Naples to participate in the Q&A and the next day practice blind match racing in beautiful Biscayne Bay. We thank all those who helped facilitate sharing the documentary with more audiences. There are many more previews ahead as we seek a broadcast and distribution for the film. Please let us know if you would like to request a screening or have suggestions. The tide is building!

January 23, 2016
2016 has begun with an intensifying flurry of film distribution and outreach screening efforts. We are thrilled as more preview screenings are added to the calendar. There is a lot of excitement building around Sense The Wind! To date, we have previewed the documentary in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island and Poland. Below are some of the preview screening held:

Larchmont Yacht Club, Larchmont, NY 1.28.16
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NY 2.8.16
Explorers Cruise Foundation, Katowice, Poland 1.13.16
Bonita Springs Lions Club/Gulf Coast Sailing Club, Bonita Springs, FL 2.18.16
Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami, FL 2.23.16
Katowice Boys Club, Katowice, Poland 3.1.16
Montrose Free Library, Montrose, NY 4.3.16
Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, White Plains, NY 4.12.16
Croton Free Library, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 5.6.16
Westchester Community College Digital Labs, Peekskill, NY 9.27.16

The revenue from these showings and co-fundraiser events directly funds film project outreach and distribution expenses. And, what we hear from diverse audiences at screenings is heartwarming and encourages us to push onward with the film to reach new audiences.

Festival news will come shortly. There is much in the hopper around the globe! This will be a busy year for Sense The Wind!

October 22, 2015

With our Outreach preview launch, many more showings of our film are ahead. Planning is underway for club Movie Nights and co-fundraiser screening events with a range of organizations and corporate partners. Among those are: the Larchmont YC in New York; the New Bedford YC in Massachusetts; in Florida, the Naples YC, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Team Paradise/Miami Lighthouse and the Houston Yacht Club in Texas.

The film has already been proposed to 10 national and international conferences and meetings in an effort to reach broad networks of educators and rehabilitation trainers, social workers and blindness and Ophthalmological organizations.

Corporate sponsors are being sought to underwrite the costs to show the film at major conventions and professional meetings to those who directly serve the needs of blind and disabled individuals.

The messages conveyed in Sense The Windwill resonate with these diverse audiences and positively impact many lives. Please join our team and support our outreach efforts!

September 17, 2015

The red carpet was rolled out for the blind sailing teams and for Sense The Wind by the Chicago Yacht Club who hosted a special screening event on September 10th for the 2015 IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship . The elegant CYC Monroe flagship clubhouse was a classy yet relaxed venue with plenty of horderves, dinner and drinks enjoyed. The international teams and regatta and club members thoroughly enjoyed viewing this first showing of the film played with Video Description for the blind and impaired. Many accolades and thanks were expressed along with a bubbling enthusiasm to share the film with many others.

This roaring success in Chicago was followed by a packed house preview in Jamestown during the Sail Newport Blind Sailing Nationals. Blind Nationals teams, world class local sailors and film lovers attended the lively film center screening and reception. A Q&A followed with the Producers and featured characters, Matt Chao and Nancy Jodoin, that wrapped another successful kickoff preview event.

Fall outreach preview screening events are now being planned with some of our Advisory Partner Organizations and pitches are being made through members of yacht clubs and sailing centers to hold movie night events off season around the country.

More film festival, distributor and broadcast contacts are being shared with us as outreach efforts build. The momentum is growing, our film fan base blossoming with each viewing.

Please reach out to us if you have ideas or contacts with whom to share our powerful film!

Stay tuned! We are on an exciting long ride!

August 25, 2015

As the film festival phase begins, we are thrilled to begin outreach preview screenings thanks to additional generous support from donors who embrace the film's mission and it's potential to enhance lives. Sense The Wind will be shared with competitors from around the globe at the 2015 IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship at the Chicago Yacht Club on September 10th. Representatives of the press and blindness organizations are also being invited in an effort to expand the film's reach.

Our documentary will also have a special "It's a Wrap" screening and party during the Sail Newport Blind Sailing Nationals on September 12th at the Jamestown Art Center in Jamestown, RI. Many supporters from our 2014 fundraiser event are eager to preview the film and meet more of the blind sailors in attendance.

In June, the film was well received at a blowout fundraiser hosted by the Marin Sailing School Program for the Blind and the Island Yacht Club to fund CA teams going to the Nationals and the Worlds. No surprise that the event was a great success!

The sailors are gearing up and excited to soon face off at the starting lines. Let the games begin!

May 8, 2015

With the support of the US Sailing Association, we have launched a new crowd funding campaign targeted to community sailing organizations and clubs. US Sailing has offered some great gear to entice donors, as well as the film offered for community sneak peek screenings. We are rallying to complete an accessible version of the film for outreach. Hop on board!

April 23, 2015

The Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA stepped up again and generously contributed toward the completion costs of Sense The Wind. We are thankful for their continued support and belief that the film will be of great value to the blind community, to rehab recreation and sailing programs. Our documentary will spread awareness and inspire many to reach greater heights!

March 25, 2015

We were fortunate to have the talents of Bill Ruyle on percussion and Jeff Ciampa playing acoustic guitar to the incredible score our composer, Richard Martinez wrote for the film. Their musical nuances added much to the power of the story and to the visceral excitement of the race scenes.

With many weeks of late hours cleaning up location audio and creating needed ambient sounds followed by a 7 hour supervised sound mix session, Paul Michael delivered his audio magic to the post house to pair with the video edit. Whether hearing splashes on the water or the flapping of birds flying past, you will feel you are there.

February 17, 2015

We reached a project milestone Friday, February 13th, with the completion of film editing. December's rough cut has evolved into a moving hour length film that truly captures the heart and spirit of our characters while introducing the little known sport of blind sailing. Music composition is well underway and the original score will be completed early March. The audio mix and sound design is in the hands of Paul Michael, a sound wizard who not only cleans up less than ideal recoded audio, but also builds the ambient sound and audio effects around the images and music.

Post Production finishing and mastering is scheduled for late March, after which Sense The Wind will be ready to launch and move into the distribution and outreach phase. In the meantime, we continue to fundraise to fund these completion costs to be able to release as tentatively scheduled.

December 27, 2014

In October our new NY based editor, Cheree Dillon, came onboard to complete the film with us. Over these past months, Cheree immersed herself in the many hours of footage to artfully weave these stories into a compelling hour documentary. We are excited to have received a very good rough cut for Christmas!

Our motion graphics wizard, Gerry Katzban, has created unique POV visual effects and is developing animated maps for the regatta locations. In January we will work closely with Cheree to fine tune the film cut to "picture lock", after which music and sound design are added. Our highly skilled composer, Richard Martinez, will begin working on an original music score.

Our creative team is working hard to bring the film to completion as we rally the funds needed for post production finishing. January will be a busy month!

September 22, 2014

Our film event was a great success and almost $5,000 was raised to fund final editing. Over 90 people attended, film lovers and sailors enjoyed food & drink, the lively auction and, theatre screening of the exciting trailer and a sneak peek scene excerpt. The response we heard was fabulous, the interest in the film and support to get it finished is growing.

The RI Jamestown Press published a nice article about our film last week, news that informs and reinforces the local and wide reaching buzz building around Sense The Wind.

Some project highlights:

- Intensive editing resumes in a few weeks and funds are still being sought to take us over the finish with our great team.

- Motion graphic and point of view character FX are in development and magic is being created for the film.

- As editing progresses further into November, our talented sound designer and composer will begin adding their layers of sound.

We are on a roll. Stay with us on this ride and help us along! We have such a passionate and talented crew.

August 10, 2014

A Race Dinner Film Event will take place at the Jamestown Arts Center on Saturday, September 6th at 7pm. It will feature work-in-progress sneak preview of clips from Sense the Wind and a conversation with the filmmakers and film participants.

This special fundraising event occurs during the 2014 Sail Newport Blind National Sailing Championship. Competitors from around the country, along with former America's Cup and Olympic sailors, will join volunteers, families and friends for camaraderie, food & drink, music and auction. All are welcome!

Tickets are $25 Advance, $35 Door, which includes a Burger Bar and Homemade Dessert. Cash Bar. Advance Tickets may be purchased at:

Proceeds will go towards film post-production expenses. If unable to attend and wish to support the film’s completion simply go to the Donate page.

To donate online go to: