Making Cinema Acessible to Everyone - Right Down to the Trailers.

Posted 5 March 2018

Last week, UK cinema association announced that there will be a more active effort from film distributors in the UK to create film trailers with captions for hard of hearing and D/deaf audiences.

Every Monday at the Showroom is Subtitled Monday, where all of the films in our programme play with captions for hard of hearing and D/deaf people. Subtitled Monday’s is a significant part of our commitment to making our cinema more accessible to as many people as possible.

One of the challenges we are presented with when programming subtitled Mondays is that not all films that we show are created with captions – in recent years we have seen a significant improvement with this, and we’re usually able to screen almost everything from our weekly programme with captions. This Monday for example, we will be showing Dark River; I, Tonya; Lady Bird; The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with captions, all day.

These screenings are a great step toward making the cinema experience better for everyone – and giving more people access to a broad and diverse range of films, at times that are convenient for them, but we understand that more can be done to make these screenings even better. At the moment, adverts and trailers are not captioned for hard of hearing and D/deaf audiences. We know that this can make screenings much less welcoming for these audiences as part of the experience does not involve everyone equally. This is an industry-wide issue that requires a commitment from advert producers and film distributors to start creating captions, and it’s something that cinemas across the country have been lobbying for.

This announcement from UK Cinema Association looks like the first steps are finally being taken. It’s not all film trailers, or even all distributors – at the moment only Disney and 20th Century Fox have made a commitment to create more captioned trailers, but we’re really excited that the ball has begun rolling. It will be a slow process and, in the beginning, many of the captioned trailers are likely to be bigger Hollywood films that we don’t always play. But, this week we received our first captioned trailer (for the amazing new Wes Anderson film Isle of Dogs) and we’re pleased to be part of the first steps toward a more welcoming and inclusive cinema experience.

If you have anything to say about Subtitled Mondays or positive feedback about captioned trailers that we can pass on to distributors, please let us know! They need to see that there is a demand for inclusive cinema, and your voice matters.  

Mikaela Smith

Film Exhibition, Distribution and Sales TraineeRead more posts by Mikaela Smith

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