Screen Australia announces new audio description policy

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Thursday, 9 June 2011 16:34pm

Screen Australia, the Federal Government’s funding body for the screen production industry, has announced a new funding condition that requires films to be delivered with audio description.

The new condition complements Screen Australia’s requirement, introduced in 2007, for all feature films to be captioned.  

This initiative follows recommendations from the Federal Government’s Media Access Review final report, in order to provide around 600,000 Australians who are blind or vision impaired with access to audio described feature films.

Screen Australia CEO Ruth Harley said, “Better and more equitable audience access to Australian films at a reasonable cost is a benefit for the industry and community as a whole.”

“For some Australians it will mean being able to take their children to the cinema and share the experience of the film with them for the first time. For someone who has recently lost their sight it will mean they will not have to miss experiencing Australian films at the cinema,” said Dr Harley. 

Both captioning and audio description will be required on all feature films applying for Screen Australia investment after 1 July 2011.

Screen Australia will be updating its fact sheets and other information available on its website to provide a reference for producers about cost and processes of audio description as well as captioning.

Read Screen Australia’s media release on the announcement.

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