Glasgow Film Theatre win at the Scottish Council on Deafness Awards

Glasgow Film Theatre remains unique as a cultural organisation in the West of Scotland: being the only full-time provider of specialised or ‘arthouse’ film where audiences and filmmakers can experience and debate cultural practice and ideas through diverse, unique and quality film programmes. As an independent cinema, GFT uses film to explore and engage with issues that will help transform and improve people’s lives in meaningful and inspiring ways. Public Engagement Coordinator Jodie Wilkinson commented: “As programmers we must respond to our audience, because if we’re not providing events that are really resonating with or challenging our audiences then we are not doing our jobs properly.”

Take 2 Access presents a family friendly film, in relaxed surroundings. This occurs on the second Tuesday of every month and with the addition of Cinema 3, we partnered with Scottish Autism to set up our Access Film Club, a monthly Film Club for young people and adults aged 15+ living with autism.

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Visible Cinema launch event. 2015

After a period of research and development in consultation with deaf and hard of hearing participants, GFT launched Visible Cinema in March 2015 with Solar Bear and Film Hub Scotland. Visible Cinema is the first initiative of its kind in Scotland and established an inclusive programme of film screenings, open to all and enhanced for deaf and hard of hearing audiences. Jodie commented, “when 1 in 6 people use BSL and require captioned accessibility, we as a public cultural venue need to set precedent otherwise we are failing our communities. This comes at financial cost but the wealth of access is worth its weight in gold. GFT also recognises that Deaf people rightly see themselves as people within a linguistic minority not with a disability.”

Since March 2015 Visible Cinema has hosted 23 screenings each including a HoH captioned or subtitled film and a post film discussion with integrated BSL interpretation and a speech to text service with 674 admissions (average audience 30).

I feel like maybe that's what going to the cinema will be like in the utopian future I dream of! Everyone has a voice allowing for an interesting open discussion.

Visible Cinema Audience Member (January 2016)

These initiatives focus on deepening GFT's engagement with underrepresented groups, sustaining long-term relationships with new audiences and breaking down barriers such as social exclusion through improved and integrated accessible programming. Jodie commented: “As a sector, we want to provide people with high quality and memorable experiences, we pride ourselves in offering a plethora of choice, but to whom are these choices most accessible? And which demographic of people feel the most confident in accessing those choices? Every person has their own strategy of how they like to communicate and through doing so they become visible, active participants in cultural life.”

Glasgow Film works to ensure audiences feel active and visible, striving to enable patrons to participate in a cultural life of their choosing. GFT is very proud to be named Accessibility Champion 2016 and Runner Up in the Research and Development category for Visible Cinema, recognising the hard work and dedication from the Glasgow Film team.

Join us at the next Visible Cinema captioned screening, It’s A Wonderful Life on Thursday 15 December.

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