I am extremely excited and at the same time nervous writing this mail.
Almost a decade ago we took our first step o audio describing the movie Black and prepared a special DVD of the movie that many of us enjoyed. We started with the vision that one day we will reach a stage where most of the movies released in Indian theatres will provide us the option to listen to audio description through the headphone while we are sitting with our family and friends in the movie hall.
In this journey we did several special DVDs, held several special screenings with audio descriptions and then moved to next step by introducing audio description on mainstream DVDs such as in Pipli Life or PK.
We also had a television screening of Dangal that provided the choice to have audio description in it.
I am happy to announce that we are all set to take our next giant step. By the end of this week. The coming week-end, we may have the opportunity to have the first movie in which we would be able to walk into any movie hall that is showing the movie "Sanju" and have audio description of the movie spoken into our ears through the headphone.
This mail is just a pre-announcement to prepare ourselves to be part of this new exciting development.
We will need to go to a movie hall and purchase a ticket like everyone else and sit In the hall. In addition, we will need to carry a smart phone with internet connection with us. The smart phone will need to have an app.
In this app we will get an audio ticket free of cost and download the audio description track of the movie which would normally take a one or two minutes. When the movie starts, we will need to press the play button and the app will synchronise itself to the place of the movie and begin playing audio description in the silent gaps.
This development is very exciting as it eliminates the need to install special equipment in every hall to be able to provide audio description.
In coming days, I will be sharing details of this app and also share youtube link of a movie for which the audio description will be available in the app. This will be done to provide a trial experience before we have the real movie hall experience for the movie "Sanju".
Keep fingers crossed that we are able to cross all hurdles in timely release of the audio description of the movie and get this experience by the coming week-end.
In Delhi Saksham is planning to provide support in select halls to assist persons with blindness to setup their apps on their mobile phones at the time of the shows. If your organisation would be interested and can extend similar support in your city for at least few shows, then please do get in touch with me on my mail ID for more details.
Our target is that as many people as possible participate in this first experience of accessible and inclusive movie show in India and prove our point to the film producers that we do exist and are keen to fully enjoy this cinema experience if it is made accessible.
Keep watch on next announcements with steps for the app trials and the exact date of release of AD track of Sanju" in this app.