Cinema

Festival season made accessible through audio description and captions

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This year’s Sydney and Perth festivals will provide audio description and open captions on a range of performances for patrons who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf or hearing impaired.

Running from 5 to 27 January, the Sydney Festival is being held around premier Sydney venues. Audio description will be provided for two performances at the Sydney Opera House including 2001: A Space Odyssey on 25 January and The Secret River on 26 January. Patrons can also take a tactile tour prior to the performance of Secret River. A separate tactile tour of the set and costumes for Semele Walk will be conducted on 15 January.

Open captions will be provided for two performances of The Secret River on 30 January and 8 February.


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Boxing Day blockbusters: sessions with captions and audio description

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Two of 2012’s most anticipated movie releases, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Les Miserables will both be released to cinemas with audio description and closed captions on 26 December.

Peter Jackson’s long-awaited prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is the first in a new trilogy set in Middle Earth. The movie opens on Boxing Day at locations including Hoyts Bankstown, Carousel, Chadstone and Melbourne Central, and Event Cinemas Cairns Earlville, Top Ryde and Marion. The movie is rated M.


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Top 12 of 2012 #9 – the cinema access revolution

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The end of the year marks the halfway point of Australia’s world-leading Cinema Access Implementation Plan. The strategy is seeing access technology introduced to the country’s biggest cinema chains, revolutionising the cinema experience for those who are blind and vision impaired.

Overseen by an advisory group convened by the cinema companies and on which Media Access Australia sits, the plan is the only one of its kind in the world.


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A Charlie Chaplin classic gets the audio description treatment

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Canadian access company Descriptive Video Works has audio described the vintage silent film The Gold Rush to bring to life one of Charlie Chaplin’s most famous works for the blind and vision impaired.

Audio description is normally provided for content that has a range of other aural elements, such as dialogue, sound effects and music, all of which play important roles in storytelling. The challenge presented by a silent film for audio describers is that apart from music, all elements of the movie must be described, as there is no dialogue or sound effects.


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