Film and art for the blind? Yes, it’s possible!

A few hundred of the blind and the visually impaired from Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia had last year the opportunity to experience art, that is to participate in film screenings. Even though persons with visual disabilities couldn’t see them, they were able to – thanks to audio description (AD) – perceive art through other senses.

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Most beautiful viewers’ emotions

Among the participants of the project, there were teenage students of Ukrainian boarding school for the blind. For many of them it was the first opportunity in their life to watch a film with AD. Their reactions were very emotional. Another crucial event was a film screening with AD in a cinema in Tbilisi. It was the first screening of such kind. For the blind in Georgia it was their first visit to the cinema in their life.

The film screenings were organised under the project “Development and Promotion of Audio Description Technique in the Eastern Partnership Countries”, financed by the International Visegrad Fund. It was implemented by our Foundation in cooperation with partners from Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Czechia and Slovakia. Thanks to the comprehensive cooperation between the countries, it was possible to adjust seven modern cinema productions to the needs of the blind and visually impaired viewers through embedding in the film recorded audio description. What is more, some of the films have been translated into sign language. These were the first film screenings of such kind in the history in Moldova

How to create audio description? – We set standards

Engaging the blind and the visually impaired in cultural life through adjusting elements of contemporary culture to their needs was one of the aspects of the project. Another, equally important element was to train specialists to prepare audio description, in order to contribute to promoting AD and the concept of culture accessibility in Eastern Partnership countries. To this end, we organised trainings (in Warsaw and Chisinau) conducted by experts in the field of audio description in Poland, Czechia, Moldova and Ukraine. Among the participants there were also blind persons, whose experience directly influenced the quality of the results.

What is audio description (AD)?

– The blind and the visually impaired, as all of us, wish to participate in cultural life. Go to the cinema, participate in a premiere of an exhibition in a museum. It is possible thanks to audio description – explains Stanisław Brudnoch from HumanDoc Foundation. Audio description consists in comments prepared by a professional audio-descriptor. Thanks to them, a person with a visual disability knows, what is going on in a film, when there are no dialogues or, in the case of museums, describes exhibits, so that a blind person could imagine them.

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During the meetings in Chisinau and Warsaw, the participants gathered knowledge on AD standards and practical aspects of its preparation. There were also discussions with Polish, Czech and Slovak experts regarding AD in those countries. Thanks to the engagement of the international teams, it was possible to work out a standardised text with AD standards. The document is compliant with European Union standards and is a form of a guide for people working with AD.
Project activities were promoted during 12 film screenings. Each of them started with a presentation about the project, AD development and perspectives for its development.

DVDs with films with AD were handed over to 60 organisations, who are going to organise film screenings or lend them to the blind.
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 Thanks to the engagement of the international teams, it was possible to work out a standardised text with AD standards.


PROJEKCT PARTNERS

 

Poland
HumanDoc Foundation
www.humandoc.pl

Poland
Foundation ‘Opening Culture and Art’


www.fundacjaokis.org

Czech Republic
APOEGEUM

www.apogeum.info

Slovakia
Trnka.sk

www.trnka.biz

Belarus
MotzArt

www.motsart.by

Georgia
Future Starts Today

www.facebook.com

Ukraine
Green Cross Society

www.gcs.org.ua

Moldova
INFONET

www.infonet.md


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The project has been financed by the International Visegrad Fund