The first online cinema dedicated to audio-described film launches today to coincide with Blindness Awareness Month.
My Sound Cinema is a new video-on-demand platform explicitly created with the visually impaired community in mind. All films are audio described (AD), and the player is entirely screen-reader accessible.
Today (Friday 30 September), Edinburgh-based agency Screen Language launches the My Sound Cinema platform in the UK and Ireland. The streaming platform, the first of its kind in the world, will give visually impaired film lovers the opportunity to enjoy movies in a fully accessible online environment, providing a single location for AD screenings of new and existing cinema releases.
Audio descriptions are often commissioned for films screened at cinemas, festivals and online. However, according to Screen Language’s own research and feedback from RNIB and Sight Scotland, these audio descriptions rarely reach their intended audiences.
Meanwhile, the NHS reports that in the UK, more than 2 million people are living with sight loss. Of these, around 340,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted. RNIB estimates project the number of people with sight loss in the UK in 2050 will be 4,145,000.
Consequently, there is a huge potential film audience that is not currently being served by mainstream cinema provision. My Sound Cinema seeks to fill that gap.
Ahead of its launch, the platform received the official support of RNIB and Sight Scotland, with funding from Innovate UK, Creative Informatics, Film Hub Scotland and The Space.
Elena Zini, Screen Language founder, said: Many brilliant audio-described film titles are waiting to be made accessible to the blind and visually impaired audiences they were created for. We cannot wait for the most accessible virtual cinema yet to open its curtains!
Craig Spalding, CEO of Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans, said: We’re delighted to support the My Sound Cinema project offering people with sight loss a single platform to access film and cinema with audio description. This new video-on-demand service has been made with visually impaired people at its centre and offers blind and partially sighted people a place to enjoy entertainment that has not always been easily accessible.
Find out more, and access the cinema, on the My Sound Cinema website:
Posted on the: September 30, 2022