First Time in India- Audio Description in movie halls.

A movie hall full of visually impaired and sighted people.

Almost a decade ago Sakham took the first step to audio describing the movie Black and prepared a special DVD of the movie that many of us enjoyed. We started with the vision that one day we will reach a stage where most of the movies released in Indian theatres will provide persons with visual impairment and blindness the option to listen to audio description through the headphone while he or she is sitting with their family and friends in the movie hall.
In this journey, we did several special DVDs, held several special screenings with audio descriptions and then moved to the next step by introducing audio description on mainstream DVDs such as in Pipli Life or PK. We also had a television screening of Dangal that provided the choice to have the audio description in it.

Why Audio Description?

In a movie, there are several silent portions or the unexplained situations where a person with difficulty in seeing and blindness at the time could not able to figure out about the scene. hence, which makes the cinema inaccessible for persons with visual impairment. Audio Description is an additional narration track intended primarily for blind and visually impaired consumers of visual media. It is a narration of what is happening on the screen during the silent portions in the video and sometimes during dialogues when necessary.

We are glad to announce that we got the opportunity to have the first movie in which visually impaired persons are able to walk into any movie hall that is showing the movie “Sanju” and have an audio description of the movie spoken into their ears through the headphone.

A visually impaired person needs to go to a movie hall and purchase a ticket everyone else and sit in the hall. In addition, we have to carry a smartphone with internet connection with them. The smartphone should have an app. In this app, the person will get an audio ticket free of cost and download the audio description track of the movie which would normally take a one or two minutes. When the movie starts, he needs to press the play button and the app will synchronize itself to the place of the movie and begin playing audio description in the silent gaps.

This development is very exciting as it eliminates the need to install special equipment in every hall to be able to provide audio description. 

The name of this app is “XL Cinema”. This app is available for both Android and IOS. Thus you can enjoy the audio description on any android phone or on the iPhone. The app was created originally for listening to the movie in language other than the one being played in the movie hall. Creators of this app have introduced a special feature and a mode in this app for enabling listening to audio descriptions too. They have also spent a lot of effort into making this app accessible with the talkback and voice over.

To know more about the app you may go to the youtube link given below and know how can we access to this app and can enjoy the audio description of the movie.

How to register yourself on XL cinema app to listen to the audio described movies.

How to access audio described movies for persons with blindness through an app. XL CINEMA.

Published by Saksham

Saksham Trust is a not - for - profit organisation, established in 2003. The sole aim of the trust is to empower persons belonging to this marginalised section of society through a variety of strategies. India has more than 14 million persons with blindness and low vision and above 70 million persons who cannot read normal print due to some sort of disability. A range of services needed to be provided to such persons for their social and economic mainstream into society. Saksham is guided by the Vision of a sensitised and motivated society that acknowledges the value of interdependence and appreciates the abilities of persons with blindness and multiple disabilities and willingly provides equal opportunities for all.

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