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Blind Love - Degas Paints New Orleans

Feature   |   English   |  USA - France

Production Status: In Development


Genre: Historical Drama


Tagline:  Based on the true story of Edgar Degas visit to New Orleans in 1872. 


Logline:  Blind love, devastation, and inspiration. New Orleans transforms Edgar Degas’ life, identity, family, and the artwork he would ultimately become known for. Love’s rapture titillates his soul and ravages his heart. 


At a crossroads in his artistic career, Edgar Degas visits New Orleans in 1872, falls in love with his blind sister-in-law, and discovers inspiration, devastation, and everything in between.


Production Company: MediaFusion Entertainment 


Writers/Executive Producers: Rory Schmitt & Rosary O'Neill


Producer: Carol Bidault de l'Isle / MediaFusion Entertainment


Similar films: RENOIR & VAN GOGH


Location: Louisiana


Budget: $6 million USD



During an artistic crisis, Edgar Degas visits New Orleans in order to reconnect with his family and find peace. What he finds are scandals, oppressive racism, and the never-ending threat of poverty and death. Unable to control his fascination with his brother’s blind and strikingly beautiful wife, he paints portraits of her in a mad fervour. Their love affair kindles his soul and makes him question everything.


Edgar Degas comes to New Orleans in order to find peace for his soul. He is recovering from the bloodbath of fighting in the Commune—having thrown himself into the war to escape his feelings for his sister-in-law, Estelle, who chose his brother over him in marriage. What he confronts is the scandal of what has happened to his cousins, the continued racism that has ravaged his family, the bankruptcy of his uncle, and the bigamous affair of his brother with his next-door neighbour in his own house. But perhaps the biggest shock to Edgar is seeing his beloved Estelle now blind, pregnant, and failing. Edgar tries to salvage his family life and find a new direction for his painting and reclaim some meaning in his life. The novel exposes the scandal between Edgar Degas and his brother, which kept them from speaking for ten years and led Degas to return to Paris with a new direction in his artwork, soon after known as Impressionism.


Writers'/ Executive Producers' Bios:

Rory O’Neill Schmitt, PhD is an author, photographer and professor. Raised in New Orleans, Rory pursued her fascination with art with summers in Paris and education in New York City. She studied art history and studio art at Fordham University (BA), and was awarded a Freeman Asia Foundation fellowship to study in Beijing and art therapy at the School of Visual Arts (MA). She earned a PhD at Arizona State University, where she specialized in art education. Her dissertation focused on teaching art interpretations in museums. Rory has worked professionally at Herman Leonard Studio, the International Center for Photography, Cristinerose Gallery, Visual Arts Gallery and Arizona State University Art Museum. She has published several nonfiction books, replete with her own photography (Arcadia Press) and distinguished articles in scholarly journals (International Journal of Education & the Arts.  She works at the University of Southern California’s Bovard College, where she coaches expert faculty. 


Rosary Hartel O’Neill, PhD lives in New Orleans and New York City. She is the author of twenty-five plays, most published by Samuel French, Inc. and four published books. A Senior Fulbright Drama Specialist, she has received eight Fulbrights. Other awards include residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, American Academy in Rome and the Irish Cultural Center and Cartoucherie Theatre in Paris. In New York City, she is an active member of the Actors Studio, the Players Club and the National Arts Club. In New Orleans, Louisiana, she is Professor Emeritus of Drama and Speech at Loyola University and a member of Louisiana Women in Film and Television. She founded the Southern Repertory Theatre, the premier professional theatre in New Orleans. 


Blind Love

Degas Paints New Orleans

a feature film by

award winning team of 

Producer Carol Bidault de l'Isle

Writers & Executive Producers

Rory Schmitt & Rosary O'Neill