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Inclusive Cinema Culture is a right, not a privilege

Inclusive Cinema Culture is a right not a privilege

It is essential to recognize that culture is not just about the information or stimulus we receive daily. Culture and knowledge make us grow. They strengthen our character and our identity as individuals.

Fortunately, society tends to be more inclusive. A political commitment has been made in Spain so that all public products, goods, and services are accessible. This commitment also includes artistic displays, spaces, and cultural events. Therefore, there has been an increase in productions that present audio-described content, with accessible subtitling and sign language.

A visually impaired person fidgets with the camera during the shooting of Blues Time at Llumm Studios. By Ruth Dupiereux.

However, due to the outdated UNE regulations (2002-2005), there is no way to incorporate accessibility optimally. Another issue that accessibility professionals face is that accessibility tools are developed once the product is already made and ready to release, without contact with the work authors. This prevents them from working on each project in depth. Therefore, though cultural accessibility is becoming more abundant there is a wide margin for quality improvement.

Two deaf women (the one on the left suffering from Epidermolysis bullosa) talking in Sign Language during XMILE’s premiere. By Sergio Pérez.
A journey from Accessibility to Inclusion

Like any other area of our lives, planning and communication are vital in the cultural sector. The earliest stages of production must address accessibility.

Here’s how it typically happens:

  1. The creative team has to be aware that their project is going to be accessible.
  2. The inclusive project authors must know the main tools of accessible communication (audio description, subtitling, and sign language).

This way, creators and accessibility professionals can communicate correctly, enhancing the accuracy between the artistic work and its accessible tools.

XMILE’s audio description front page.

Knowing the needs of a broader audience sector will impact the different production departments, making art and accessibility mix and offer universal work as a result.

Nihil de nobis sine nobis [Latin: Nothing about us, without us]

We actively have future users of accessibility tools. Together, we reach new goals in creativity and quality. Their contributions offer a fresh vision of the work, a kind of quality control that allows us to finalize details during post-production.

Miguel Ángel Font Bisier communicating in Sign Language with a deaf-blind person.
A global methodology

We share our inclusive vision with professionals, entities, producers and educational centers, so that more people can take the leap into inclusion.

Blues Time’s Accessibility Report.

An example of our methodology is the Accessibility Report, a template that serves as a link between the authors of the work and accessibility companies. This report has been positively valued by different professionals and users. It is an object of interest and study in different centers and universities.

What if inclusion could improve art?

Our philosophy respects the artistic vision of the authors and the experience of a universal audience.

Deaf people clapping at the end of XMILE’s screening. By Sergio Pérez.

Inclusive cinema is not a patch, nor is it a last-minute addition. It is a personal and professional commitment, ranging from the script to the distribution, allowing each cultural expression to shine with its own identity for every viewer who wants to enjoy it.

Translation by: Ru Adegoke and LOVE Yourself Project Internship Programme