Visible Cinema: Launch of GFT Deaf and Hard of Hearing Film Club


Glasgow Film Theatre today announced the launch of Visible Cinema, a monthly Film Club for deaf and hard of hearing audiences. The first initiative of its kind in Scotland, Visible Cinema will launch on Tuesday 24 March (18.00) with a captioned screening of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.

In partnership with Film Hub Scotland and Solar Bear, and funded by Creative Scotland, the aim of Visible Cinema is both to bring awareness to cinema access, and to provide a relaxed and welcoming environment in which those who are deaf or hard of hearing can enjoy a range of films.

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Visible Cinema will run for an initial ten month period and includes captioned, subtitled and British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted screenings, followed by a post film discussion. The club’s logo will be unveiled at the next event on Wednesday 22 April (18.00).

This pilot scheme will enable GFT to develop the tools, knowledge and methodology to deliver a high quality, engaging programme of film for deaf and hard of hearing audiences. At the core of this programme is a holistic approach to access, which includes staff training (basic BSL & deaf awareness training), availability of a hearing loop system and infrared in the cinema, social activity, BSL interpreted discussions and participant feedback. Film Hub Scotland is planning to use this model to roll out similar film clubs throughout cinemas in Scotland.

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Jaki McDougall, Chief Executive of Glasgow Film said:

"This is a really exciting period for GFT as we launch the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Film Club. This new programme will bring more awareness to cinema access for the deaf and hard of hearing community – addressing issues such as more suitable film screening times, deaf and hard of hearing awareness training for staff and looking at ways we can enrich the overall cinema experience. We’re excited to be leading on this project with our partners Creative Scotland, Solar Bear and Film Hub Scotland."

Karen Forbes, Training and Learning Manager at Solar Bear said:

"Solar Bear is delighted to be working with Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) and Film Hub Scotland for the launch of Visible Cinema – a film club for deaf and hard of hearing. This initiative will make cinema going more accessible and with captioned screenings of new releases as well as classics. It is fantastic that GFT recognise the need for more captioned screenings and are aiming to make this art form more accessible to the deaf community. We look forward to working with GFT and Film Hub Scotland in the future as they look to expand captioned screenings to independent cinemas across Scotland."

Sambrooke Scott, Film Hub Scotland Manager said:

"Film Hub Scotland is thrilled to be supporting this pioneering work by GFT and Solar Bear working with deaf and hard of hearing audiences. Film Hub Scotland exists to increase the reach, depth and breadth of cinema programmes for audiences across Scotland, and Visible Cinema will do exactly that by piloting an integrated approach to audience engagement that offers a step-change in the provision cinemas are currently offering. Our hope is that this work will offer a model other cinemas can adopt to better serve their patrons."

Delia Henry, Director, Action on Hearing Loss Scotland said:

"I wish the GFT every success with the launch of the new Deaf and Hard of Hearing Film Club.  It is important that people who are deaf or have hearing loss are able to access and enjoy entertainment, such as films, like everyone else. I commend Glasgow Film Theatre’s work in creating an accessible environment for movie fans who are deaf or hard of hearing and in providing communication support so that they can participate in post-film discussions."

Leonie Bell, Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, said:

"We are delighted to support this partnership between Film Hub Scotland, Solar Bear and Glasgow Film Theatre as they launch the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Film Club. There is a need for better provision for deaf and hard of hearing cinema-goers and it’s great that this gap has been identified and steps taken to provide support for deaf and hard of hearing audiences. The film club will use the introduction of British Sign Language interpretation into mainstream timeslot screenings, and explore new technologies such as live captioning. We hope this will open the world of cinema to deaf and hard of hearing audiences and allow them to experience and enjoy the true magic and power of cinema without barriers."


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