‘Accessible Films’ Section for The Visually-Impaired Opens With ‘Screening of Secret Superstar’ & ‘Hindi Medium’ at IFFI Goa 2017!

‘Accessible Films’ Section for The Visually-Impaired Opens With ‘Screening of Secret Superstar’ & ‘Hindi Medium’ at IFFI Goa 2017!

The co-founder of Saksham, Mr. Dipendra Manocha at the press conference, during the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2017), in Panaji, Goa on November 23, 2017.

The co-founder of Saksham, Mr. Dipendra Manocha addressing a press conference on Making Films Accessible, during the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2017)

48 th IFFI Goa has section on ‘Accessible India’ featuring two films ‘Secret Superstar’ & ‘Hindi Medium’, which were screened at IFFI, 2017. Saksham – a Delhi-based organization has added audio description and same language subtitling in these movies to make movies accessible to all including people who cannot see or hear.

‘Team Saksham’ interacted with media in a press conference today. The press conference was attended by Ms Rummi K Seth (Managing Founder Trustee – Saksham), Mr Dipendra Manocha (Founder Trustee – Saksham), Mr Narendra Joshi (Audio-descriptor and scriptwriter) and Mr Taha Haaziq (Member Secretary, Sanjay Centre For Special Education, Goa) who have played an important role in creating and filming of these versions of these movies in the international film festival. Rummi Seth said, “This conference is special and different from the ones you have been a part of. This interesting project was started way back in 2005. If you sit and watch a film with your eyes closed what would you see as such except dialogues. During the screening of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag last year, special scenes where there were no dialogues, a blind person won’t know what is happening. We have a voice-over and a scriptwriter Mr Narendra and we all sit and decide as to what needs to be written to fill that space.”

Dipendra Manocha adds, “This accessibility of movies is all about inclusion. As a blind person, the question to me is do we have the right to go to the movie halls like everybody else or not. If we have the right then we are entitled to use every facility available to us. Physically challenged people may have some kind of limitation in terms of walking, sitting, speaking, etc. This is an initiative to help such people participate in it and be part of the active society. This effort of accessible movies is just a step towards that direction.”

Speaking about technical challenges while working on the concept, Narendra Joshi told media that, “The challenge is to create emotions in the spaces between the dialogues for the disabled ones to keep going with the flow while watching a movie. We have around 300-400 spaces during the entire movie watching experience. In 3 or 5 seconds, you need to figure out what is the important part that would help a visually impaired to know the scene better. The script which we work for the entire movie needs to be reworked once the entire process is done. We started the initiative with Mr Amitabh Bachchan’s movie Black and were met with a huge success.”

Audio description is a method to add audio narration describing what is being shown on the screen. This description is added in the silent gap between dialogues and it’s extremely important for people with visually challenged people or low vision and helps them to appreciate all parts of the movie.
The 48th Edition of IFFI will take place from the 20th to 28th of November, 2017 in the beach state of Goa.
IFFI is India’s biggest and Asia’s oldest film festival, making it one of the most prestigious in the world.