This January 2020, the London Short Film Festival (LSFF) will host the first UK pilot in cinemas of the National Theatre's smart caption glasses, a solution for D/deaf, deafened or hard of hearing audiences, at BFI Southbank.
As part of the festival's ongoing commitment to accessibility, LSFF is delighted to announce that smart caption glasses will be available to cinema-goers at all LSFF 2020 UK Competition screenings with support from the BFI Audience Fund (awarding funds from The National Lottery), BFI Southbank, National Theatre, Epson and the UK Cinema Association's Technology Challenge Fund.
Launched in 2018 by the National Theatre (NT), following a year of testing with audiences who are D/deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, smart caption glasses have been in use for 80% of their productions on the South Bank.
The Open Access Smart Capture technology was the result of an ongoing collaboration between the NT's technical team and speech and language experts led by Professor Andrew Lambourne.
The glasses display a synchronised transcript of dialogue and sound directly onto the lenses of the glasses, giving service users the freedom to experience captions how and when they want to. Accenture and the NT developed the service using Moverio BT-350 smart glasses, which are designed and manufactured by Epson specifically with arts and culture applications in mind.
Including work from Peter Strickland (In Fabric), a poignant turn from Maxine Peake (Funny Cow) and the directorial debut of Lena Headey, the LSFF 2020 UK Competition selection presents compelling storytelling from established and emerging British directors across four screenings on 11th, 13th, 15th & 16th January in NFT1 at BFI Southbank.