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Making silences speak

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 09:51 -- admin

Saksham has taken the lead in audio describing films for blind viewers in India.
Sucheta Narang writes about the initiative

Like most Indians, persons with blindness or low-vision also watch movies. However, a lot of the story and crucial information in the movie is provided through facial expressions, costumes, ambience, environment and body language. Most such information is lost to persons with blindness; or at best perceived by guesswork based on audio clues.

To tackle this problem, Saksham, a non-profit organisation, has produced two audio described movies for visually impaired enthusiasts. This project has been undertaken for the first time in India. The silent portions of the movies have been filled with an audio description of the scene so that the continuity of the film is not lost for visually impaired persons, and they can relate to the dialogues that follow. The audio description has been provided by renowned theatre personality Sushma Seth.

Two films have been audio described so far- Black, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, on the subject of deaf-blindness; and Kat Kat Kad Kaddu, a children’s movie- selected by Children Film Society of India (C.F.S.I.) for the International Children’s Film Festival held at Hyderabad. The films received a tremendous response at the screenings at the Devnar School for the blind and the Government School for the blind on November 17 and 18, 2005, respectively.

Overall, children felt that “all movies should be audio described so that we can watch them independently without depending on others”.

Saksham, in collaboration with C.F.S.I., is planning to make more such audio described movies for children.

In issue 7, we had featured the audio-described version of Black as a gifting option. The price of the product is Rs. 75. The film Black, in fact, has been chosen as one of the top 10 movies of 2005 by Time magazine. (to read about this, check out

The audio-described version of Black, and other interesting products
are available at Saksham, New Delhi.
Phones: +91-11-39454172, 98100 43626.
Fax: +91-11-52411015.

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