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CreateHK drives development of audio description in films

To drive the development of audio description services in films for enjoyment by the visually impaired or the elderly, Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is partnering with the Hong Kong Society for the Blind to fund and implement a year-long programme to help nurture a pool of professional narrators and script-writers for such services.

Assistant Head of CreateHK, Mr Wellington Fung, said at a press briefing today (March 17): "With audio description, the visual is made verbal. Professional narrators use succinct, vivid and imaginative words to describe the visual images to the audience. It makes films accessible for the visually impaired or the elderly."

Under the programme, international trainers specialised in audio description will be invited to give a five-day workshop in July or August for about 200 local film practitioners. There will also be a three-day seminar in November or December featuring the provision of audio description in Chinese films.

After the workshop and seminar, the trainees will have the chance to put their learning into practice at 10 film shows organised for the visually impaired. Five public screenings of audio description films at theatres, universities, Hong Kong Science Museum and Hong Kong Film Archive will also be arranged to raise public awareness of the audio description services.

Mr Fung said the programme could offer needed services for the visually impaired while expanding audience groups and opening up new markets for local films.

"There are potential markets for audio description services for Hong Kong films both locally and in other Chinese-speaking communities. In the long-run, we aim to develop a self-sustained business for the creative sectors. The programme will be conducive to the long-term development of the industry," he said.

As a prelude to the programme, a film "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" will be shown with audio description at the opening night of the 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival on March 20.

Details of the programme will be available on the CreateHK website(www.createhk.gov.hk).

Thursday, March 17, 2011