Cinema

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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Telstra introduces captions on BigPond Movies

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Telstra has released an initial batch of 14 BigPond movies with open captions, with a promise to expand the service in the future.

To find the captioned titles on BigPond Movies, click on ‘Movies’ on the home page, then ‘Open Captions’, which will bring up a list of them. The initial titles include The Lego Movie, Transcendence, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Veronica Mars. Because the captions are ‘open’, they will be visible when played on all devices.


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Air Canada improves access for the vision impaired

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Air Canada has become the first airline in the world to introduce ‘text-to-speech’ functionality on its in-flight entertainment system, making it easier for blind and vision impaired passengers to navigate.

The feature is available on Boeing 787s, which have recently been introduced to Air Canada’s fleet. An Air Canada spokesman, Peter Fitzpatrick, said, “We use a female voice in English and male voice in French. Voices are fed from the text-to-speech software that Air Canada licenses to operate its content management system.”


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Phillipines introduce accessible cinema, inspired by American legislation

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Philippines cinema chain SM Cinemas recently held the nation’s first accessible cinema sessions, simultaneously screening accessible movies across a number of theatres.

The event showcased closed captioned and audio described movies, allowing people who are Deaf and hearing impaired, blind and vision impaired to enjoy cinema along with their hearing and sighted family and friends.


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Accessible cinema to get a legislative boost in the USA

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Last week the United States Attorney General signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which recommends amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act to provide captioning and audio description of movies.

The ruling will provide a consistent approach across the United States for cinemas to exhibit closed captioned and audio described movies. While the majority of movies released by American studios have captions and audio description, the number of cinemas making use of these features is varies widely across the country.

Some of the rulemaking inclusions are:


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