Speeches and Presentations

Audio description services expand audience of local films

Audio description services make films more accessible to the visually impaired and the elderly, help expand the audience and have market potential in both the local and other Chinese-speaking communities, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, said today (March 27).

He made the above remarks when attending the closing ceremony of the audio descriptions in Hong Kong films practicum project cum film show of "A Simple Life" with audio description.

The practicum project, with government funding support of $800,000, was a year-long programme launched in March last year by Create Hong Kong in partnership with the Hong Kong Society for the Blind. The aim of the project was to nurture a pool of professional narrators and scriptwriters for audio description services in local films.

"The project has indeed been a meaningful one. It has provided more entertainment choices for the visually impaired and the elderly and helped them integrate into society. They have been able to keep pace with the social trends and appreciate contemporary culture through moviegoing," Mr So said.

"The project has also injected new blood into the local film industry. I do hope the trainees who have completed the courses can further their career in this field. They should apply what they have learnt to produce more films with audio descriptions and contribute to the long-term development of such services in Hong Kong," he added.

At the closing ceremony, Mr So made an attempt to provide audio description for the visually impaired and shared his experience with them afterwards. His descriptions covered the layout, the characters and messages featured in the poster of the film "A Simple Life".

The practicum project consisted of workshops, seminars and film shows with audio descriptions. Last year, experts in the field of audio description from Taiwan and the United States were invited to give a five-day workshop. Around 70 trainees completed the training. A three-day seminar was also organised to discuss the development opportunities of audio description services in Chinese films and to facilitate exchanges of views among users.

A total of 15 film shows at theatres, universities, the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Film Archive were also arranged for trainees to put their learning into practice and for the public to know more about audio description services.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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