• Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

  • Ric Burns, Kate Edgar, Bill Hayes, Indre Viskontas

Ric Burns, Kate Edgar, and Bill Hayes in Conversation with Indre Viskontas

BAMPFA from Home

Live Conversation and Q&A with Ric Burns, Kate Edgar, and Bill Hayes, Moderated by Indre Viskontas, Recorded Tuesday, October 6, 2020

In conjunction with BAMPFA’s streaming presentation of Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, join us for a live conversation and Q&A with the film’s director, Ric Burns; Kate Edgar, Sacks’s editor and researcher, and executive director of the Oliver Sacks Foundation; and Bill Hayes, photographer, writer, and Sacks’s partner. The conversation is moderated by professor Indre Viskontas.

Ric Burns is a documentary filmmaker and writer, best known for his eight-part, seventeen-hour series New York: A Documentary Film. He has been writing, directing, and producing historical documentaries for more than twenty-five years, beginning with his collaboration on the PBS series The Civil War (1990), produced with his brother, Ken Burns, and cowritten with Geoffrey Ward. Since founding Steeplechase Films in 1989, he has directed numerous films for PBS. His work has won six Emmy Awards, three Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, two Organization of American Historians’ Erik Barnouw Awards, three Writers Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Writing, and a D. W. Griffith Award from the National Board of Review.

Kate Edgar began working with Sacks as an editor and researcher in 1983. She contributed to all sixteen of his books, including the recently published Everything in Its Place. Over three decades, she traveled the world with Sacks and knew many of his patients and subjects. She currently is executive director of the Oliver Sacks Foundation.

Bill Hayes, Sacks’s partner, is a writer and photographer. His books include Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me and How We Live Now: Scenes from the Pandemic. He also served as a coeditor of Sacks’s posthumously published book, Everything in Its Place.

A scientist and a soprano, Indre Viskontas holds faculty positions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the University of San Francisco, performs and directs opera, and is a sought-after public speaker. She has published more than fifty original papers and chapters related to the neural basis of memory and creativity, and her scientific work was featured in Sacks’s book Musicophilia. As the creative director of Pasadena Opera, she directed The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, a chamber opera based on Sacks’s famous case study.