Egypt cinema screens first animated film for visually-impaired children
A leading Cairo-based subtitling and dubbing studio is screening the popular animated feature "Hotel Transylvania 2" with live audio-description for 100 children with visual impairment in the Egyptian capital.
The screening of the Arabic dubbed version of Sony Pictures' latest animation hit is set for Monday in Zawya, a popular venue for independent and foreign films in downtown Cairo.
According to a press release by the dubbing studio Masreya Media, the screening goes in line with its goal of "spreading cinematic culture to all groups in society" and "belief in everyone's right to enjoy cinema".
The screening of the animated feature will be accompanied by audio-description, a technique that allows films, television programmes, operas, theatre performances and exhibitions to be accessible to blind and visually impaired people.
Hailed for its innovative ability to bring visual art to those who cannot normally appreciate it, audio-description involves additional narration that is used to describe scenes, body language, facial expressions and costumes, thus filling in the necessary blanks for those in need.
The initiative comes as part of the studio's continuous efforts in integrating the blind and visually impaired into society.
This is the third partnership between Zawya and Masreya Media. In July 2015, they joined forces for the first trial of film screenings accompanied by audio-description, which had been a foreign concept in Egypt despite prevalence in cinema, theatre, and education around the world.
In the first trial, they screened "al-Nasser Salaheddin", a 1963 historical film directed by world-renowned and award-winning Egyptian director Youssef Chahine.
|Audio-description involves additional narration that is used to describe scenes, body language, facial expressions and costumes for an audience with impaired visions.|
Among the attendees of the first screening was Ahmed Harara, who had lost both of his eyes to sniper bullets, one during the clashes on 28 January 2011, which came to be known as Egypt's Day of Anger; and the other during the clashes of Mohamed Mahmoud street in November the same year.
Zawya, which rents out one of three screens at the famed Odeon Cinema in downtown Cairo, was launched in March 2014 as Egypt's first art-house cinema.
Since then, it has screened an alternative selection of films from different parts of the world, including short films, documentaries, feature films and experimental work.The leading film production and distribution company Misr International Films (MIF), itself established by Youssef Chahine in 1972, is behind the project.