Audio-described movies a boon to people with vision disabilities

Asia-Pacific, ICT, News, November 27 2017

PANAJI, INDIA: It meant a lot to people who are blind or have low vision to be able to participate in the International Film Festival of India (Iffi), even though that there were only two audio-described films in the Accessible India Film Section. Secret Superstar and Hindi Medium, were screened on Wednesday and Thursday.

audio description iconStudents from Lokvishwas Pratishthan and National Association for the Blind (NBA) attended the film screenings at Maquinez Palace. For 18-year-old Sumera Khan, a Class XII Arts student at St Cruz Higher Secondary School, who receives coaching at NBA, the experience was special. While she often accompanies her father to theatres for films, she misses out on a lot during silent moments in a film.

“The audio description not only describes what’s happening in between dialogues but even tells us of the expression on the faces of the actors, who they are looking at and even what is transpiring during a song in the film,” says Khan, who is 100% blind.

Nympha Fernandes, 13, who watched Hindi Medium along with her NBA classmates, told TOI that she hopes “audio description is done for all movies”. For Sandeep Morajkar, a businessman from Calangute who lost his sight in 1992, “it was a pleasure to be able to visualize a movie after many years”.

Dipendra Manocha, founder trustee of Saksham, a Delhi based organization that has done the audio description for the films, said his dream is to see all films at Iffi made accessible to people with vision disabilities .

Audio descriptor and script writer Narendra Joshi highlighted the challenges of narrating the emotions between dialogues.

The first time audio-described movies were screened at Iffi was last year.

Source: Times of India

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