6: COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES
During 2016 and 2017, we also achieved other goals worth mentioning:
Cardinal Herrera CEU University undertook research about the use of the five senses in XMILE. Over 200 people were invited to participate as members of the audience in the research screenings, which had been adapted for accessibility.
“Allegro” is a project in which blind and non-blind people together perform music of many different styles. The event in which they performed was very relevant, too. It was the first screening of a film adapted for accessibility at Kinépolis Valencia, a big modern multiplex.
How were we able to play XMILE’s AD and SDH in cinemas?
Whatscine, the biggest accessibility company in Spain, was behind it. Their technology offers AD, SDH and Sign Language applied to any audio-visual content just by installing their free app into a smartphone when going to the movies. Then, each user enters the application and, based on their needs, they can select the desired accessibility.
After a few conversations, they sponsored some of our screenings: With the help of a Sign Language interpreter, they created a Sign Language version for XMILE and allowed us to use their technology when we screened the film.
Internationalization and film festival selections played a big role, too. Likewise, the many conferences, media interviews and panels in which we have taken part, made us expand our project overseas, for example in Mexico.
I wrote my first book, XMILE: Cinema of Universal Design.
Thanks to Fesord CV, the Valencian Community’s Federation of the Deaf, we were able to have a sign interpreter at many of our presentations.
Also, we shot a very special Sign Language version of Sonríe. We wanted a totally deaf person to translate and perform the lyrics, because we did not want to lose any of the details and richness provided by a native speaking Sign Language person.
Carmen Juan, former president of Fesord CV, was the Sign Language performer in this emotional video, which created a deep connection with the deaf audience.
In addition, we asked some members of the Deaf Community about how we could incorporate other Sign Language activities into the project. They were very kind and told us one of the deaf tricks to listen to music: They use balloons to feel the sound’s vibrations.
Thus, for premiering Sonríe’s Sign Language video, we organized a new event and gave balloons to the audience. It was amazing!
Finally, I started to learn Sign Language. Given that some of the screenings’ attendants were deaf or deaf-blind, I had to learn Sign Language properly, if I wanted to really connect with them. Many wanted to offer their help and joined the project; and some have even become long-lasting friends.
The XMILE experience was not only a professional milestone for me. This has really turned into a life-changing project.
Due to the knowledge and experience we had acquired, we were ready to move on to the next project, which was…