Cinema & arts

Cinema and the arts highlights of 2014

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2014 had a number of highlights in the areas of cinema and the arts. Where cinema developments over the last few years could be considered full steam ahead, as anticipated, this year saw a slowing of progress as the rollout of digital screens has neared completion across English-speaking countries. That doesn’t mean accessible cinema progress has come to a complete halt though, with an exciting development in the US that could have flow-on effects worldwide.

3D representation of a film projector


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Accessible festivals during Australia’s summer

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Along with an Australian summer comes a raft of festivals nationwide. Three of the biggest festivals are the Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival and Perth Festival, all of which have accessible events for patrons who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf or hearing impaired.

Australian flag waving in the foreground; in the background, a surfer swims in the water off the New South Wales coast


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US cinemas and advocacy groups agree on accessible cinema recommendations

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US cinema owners and advocacy groups have come to a historic agreement in order to make accessible cinema recommendations to government around the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Columbia City Cinema main hall


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Curtain call for Stagetext CEO Tabitha Allum

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For the last decade, UK arts captioning organisation Stagetext has been led by the dedicated and talented Tabitha Allum. Tabitha steps down from her role as Chief Executive this month and as a leader in the field of accessible arts, Media Access Australia would like to bestow one final title upon her: Expert in Access. Read on to learn why.

Stagetext CEO Tabitha Allum


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2014 Access All Areas film festival starts soon

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The annual Access All Areas Film Festival brings accessible screenings of the best new Australian films to venues near you. The festival travels to Parramatta, Casula and the Sydney city centre from 1-5 December and includes open captioned and audio described sessions.

Access All Areas Film Festival logo


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Hong Kong art for everyone, By ALL Means

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Media Access Australia recently met with staff from Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong (ADAHK) during their visit to Australia for the Arts Activated conference. Both organisations were able to share experiences in delivering accessible arts programs to diverse audiences.

香港展能藝術會 Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong logo

ADAHK was formed in 1986 as a result of the first Hong Kong Festival of Arts with the Disabled. Promoting arts for everyone takes on a two-directional and complementary approach for the organisation: horizontal and vertical.


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Victorian council to hold accessible cinema trial

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Yarra Ranges Council in Melbourne’s far north east is exploring the possibility of offering audio described and captioned movies at its iconic memorial hall, known locally as ‘The Memo’.

Memorial Hall, Healesville, Victoria

A successful trial of open captioned cinema has already taken place, with upcoming audio description and closed caption trials soon to commence.


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Japanese group develops new accessible cinema technology

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Japan’s Media Access Support Center (MASC) has developed a new glasses system to provide closed captions and audio description of movies for people with hearing and vision impairments.

Moverio BT-200 Glasses and control unit

Spurred on by new discrimination legislation as well as the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games that will be held in Tokyo, the developers are fine tuning the technology for release to the mass market.


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Annual film festival brings free accessible movies to Sydney surrounds

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Access All Areas Film Festival will run again this year from 1-5 December across Sydney venues, bringing captioned and audio described Australian feature and short films to the general public and into the classrooms of schools.

Access All Areas Film Festival logo


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Milestones and open mikes at the Other Film Festival

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In a celebratory edition of the bi-annual Other Film Festival, a world-first live audio description competition will be held to raise awareness of its availability and add even more fun to the popular event.

Studio microphone in front of audio waveforms on a screen in the background


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