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 Brewster Pond Productions 

 Inside the Myopia Epidemic
a film by Jane Weiner 

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Confronted with irretrievable sight loss, award-winning filmmaker Jane Weiner discovers her situation is not unique.

Camera in hand, she travels the globe gathering together evidence on the Myopia Epidemic – when and where it started, why and how it can compromises vision in hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

This insightful, comprehensive, socio-scientific investigation is built with non-scripted conversations into possible reasons for this burgeoning public health issue, and what lifestyle changes can help prevent the onset of myopia in kids.

Using straightforward graphics and easy-to-understand explanations, Jane delves into how innovative therapies that can help to slow eye elongation in children, the primary cause of nearsightedness.

Embedded with the world’s top Vision Scientists, she interweaves discussions of their ground-breaking discoveries with moving testimonials of people coping with vision loss from childhood myopia – infusing poignant personal insights into the film's storyline.


Filming Locations: Asia-Pacific, North America, Scandinavia, Europe, Eastern Europe

Target Audience: Created for adolescents (8-18 yrs old) and their parents, school teachers, eye and healthcare professionals.

Distribution Plan: International distribution to public television broadcasters, as well as community screenings in schools, town halls, libraries, and cinemas. Whenever possible, screenings are followed by half-hour Q&A sessions with local eye care professionals specializing in myopia management for children and young adults. A special version will be made available for health and eye care conferences.

Final Film Durations: Feature-length (75mins); TV & classrooms (58mins); Conference version (20mins)

Our Team:                 

Filmmaker:  Jane Weiner                     

Distribution Producer: Jon Reiss              

Editor: Larry Waxman                          

Director of Photography: Boris Carreté 

Music Composition: Agnès Vincent    

Special Effects/CGI: Christophe Nadeau

IT and WEB: Olivia Jackson


USA Public Television Distribution by NETA Programming (National Educational Telecommunications Association)


Project Development funding was provided, in part, by grants from Illinois Public Media, the Wallman Vision Fund NYC, Visioneering Technologies USA, CooperVision UK/US,

EssilorLuxottica Singapore/Paris, Zeiss Vision Lab Tuebingen, Germany, and Private Donations.

What is a Myopia Epidemic?

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Today 86% of young people in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan are nearsighted. In South Korea 96.5% of young males screened for the military conscription are myopic. Estimates among Singaporean youth are as high as 90%. By contrast, the overall rate of myopia in UK is about 35%. In the USA, 45% are nearsighted – but these numbers have risen so precipitously in the last decade that it is now considered a critical public health issue.

Because myopia increases the risk of exposing today’s youth to debilitating vision loss, one cannot overstate the magnitude of the potential career-related health crisis exponentially rising in the most economically progressive and best-educated populations in the world.

An estimated 5 billion people - nearly half the world’s population - will be nearsighted by 2050. Of these, 20% (1 billion people) are at high risk of serious ocular maladies that can lead to permanent blindness.


Myopia is rapidly becoming a worldwide public health concern, yet most parents do not know what myopia is and even fewer recognize the health risk that their children might develop later in life. Vision scientists assert that there’s no safe amount of myopia because any amount of myopia raises risk of associated blinding maladies: Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration and Retinal Detachment.

For most people the names of these diseases are words without much meaning and none of us wants to imagine life without sight.

However, it’s now well-established that the younger a person becomes myopic, the earlier in life they become susceptible to these ocular pathologies.

The likelihood of developing myopia, particularly high myopia, increases when one or both parents are nearsighted.  This is more than just a matter of kids needing glasses to read the blackboard, yet many eye doctors hesitate to tell parents of the risks their children face.

“We don’t want to frighten them.”

Understanding potential risks and getting information on possible solutions is exactly what parents and patients need to evaluate current and future options for managing myopia progression.


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