founder of 'Your Local Cinema .com' has recently been voted winner of
the Daily Mail 'Enterprising Young Brits: People’s Choice Award',
at a ceremony honouring the outstanding contributions of young people.
for all and all for one at your local cinema - The joy of subtitles
have a new email’ box comes up at the bottom corner of my screen.
Ah of course, it’s Thursday today! It’s that weekly notification
from email@example.com website. I emit out a feeble “yay”.
I have to confess, it’s one of the things I most look forward
to on a Thursday. Why? This notification serves a provider of informing
us, deaf/hard of hearing people the upcoming subtitled films in our
local town via an e-newsletter. So long gone are the days of having
to suffer by waiting for the DVD to come out and hitting HMV first thing
in the morning.
this website is funded by the UK film industry, never did I know this
subtitled film information service was set up by a seventeen years old
deaf lad, Dean Rhodes-Brandon until he recently won the Make Your Mark
Enterprising Young Brits People’s Choice Award (2009).
information service was actually set up in 2000 when he was eight years
old (with some help from his parents). It is extremely generous of him
to sacrifice his own time and effort to help around 5 million people
including myself in the UK to ensure we have equal access to cinema.
Not only does this website provide the date, time and location of around
500 subtitled films, in over 300 cinemas, it also provides thousands
of audio described shows for the visually impaired audience. This website
also includes subtitled and audio described trailers and clips.
wouldn’t have the chance to go out with our family or friends
as hearing people would do. Not to mention the opportunity of munching
a large tub of popcorn and throwing one or two at the people ahead of
us (not that I do it). Whether it’s at Odeon, Cineworld or Star
City Vue cinemas, the information is mostly and I repeat: MOSTLY, accurate.
have been a few times when I turned up to a cinema, all geared up, to
find out from the staff behind the counter there were no subtitled films
going on that day. Charming.
friends have often complained that in their local town, the subtitled
films are shown on less popular days like Thursday and Sunday, when
they would prefer to go on a Friday or Saturday.
am sure that some of you have encountered technical problems with the
captions whilst watching a film. It’s either blurred, too tiny,
half missing and there’s been an occasion when the captioning
was lop-sided so I had to watch the film with my head lop-sided too.
I will never forget that feeling of disappointment when I attended the
screening of Harry Potter. The captions failed to work, and I went to
complain to the staff. Five minutes later, I was leaving the cinema
with my refund and a free cinema ticket for my next visit. That was
a large tub of popcorn wasted.
besides all these issues, it has been successful most of time. Surely
this role must be a huge pressure in Dean’s life, but when he
viewed his first subtitled film Chicken Run, it “changed his life”
he said. Dean is currently working with organizations that focus on
disability, companies that specialise in technology as well as working
with cinemas all over the U.K, Wales, Ireland and even the Isle of Wight
for future improvements (let’s hope the problems I described are
our website/information service came along, there was no English-language
subtitled cinema... the only way deaf people could enjoy cinema was
to watch a foreign language film. Ridiculous,” says Dean.
reminds me of an unfortunate incident when I once enquired about a foreign
film ‘Mongol’ and wanted to ensure it had subtitles. The
staff told me there were none and I argued that I was told there was
a subtitled version on that day. Then of course I realised that it was
already subtitled. You can imagine my embarrassment.
has mentioned that in his role as head of yourlocalcinema.com, “receiving
feedback from other people with hearing problems or sight problems is
the best thing of all.”
when’s the next subtitled film?
related news/media items HERE