Accessibility is one of the prominent aspect of the 53rd edition of International Film Festival of India to be held from 20th to 28th November 2022 in Goa. In addition to the various physical amenities to make the festival venue barrier-free, IFFI also features a Divyangjan Special Section and special academic sessions, to make the festival more inclusive and accessible for specially-abled (Divyangjan) film enthusiasts.
The Divyangjan Special section this year in IFFI is a step towards making cinema an inclusive and accessible avenue for everyone. In this section, dedicated screenings for specially-abled audience will be organized keeping in mind their accessibility needs in terms of formats of film screening and venue infrastructure, and management.
The films in this section will have embedded subtitles, as well as audio descriptions. The audio descriptions are specially created audio tracks that narrates the visual information in a film. The audience can listen to the same, and the content of the film is conveyed to the audience which is otherwise not accessible.
Further, films, like Richard Attenborough’s Oscar winning Gandhi and The Storyteller directed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan, which will be premiered at IFFI in the ‘Divyangjan’ section will be audio-visually equipped with embedded audio descriptions and subtitles. This will make them accessible to even differently-abled film aficionados and promote the spirit of inclusivity.
With an objective to ensure that the process of creating art becomes accessible to all, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) will be conducting two free courses for persons with disabilities – a basic course in smartphone film making for people with Autism and a basic course in screen acting for people in wheelchairs – as part of IFFI 53 from 21 – 28 November 2022.
In addition to the festival content, infrastructure of the venue has also been revamped for the special needs of the Divyangjan. The premises of ESG and other venues where the films are being screened have been made barrier-free with provisions of ramps, handrails, divyangjan- friendly tactile walkways, parking spaces, retrofitted toilets, signboards in Braille etc.
The Accessibility India (Sugamya Bharat) campaign promises to target three verticals – Built up environment, transportation ecosystem and the information and communication ecosystem. The campaign would involve making transport, public space, tourist places, international airports, railway stations and information and communication technology in India differently-able friendly.