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Captioned film screenings go nationwide

Human Rights Commission Media Release 25 September 2003

Captioned film screenings go nationwide

People living outside the main centres will be able to see captioned film screenings at their local cinemas for the first time from October.

Captioned screenings of four popular release film titles will be shown around the country as part of the first sustained programme of captioned film screenings in New Zealand.

The films running from October to February are 'Bruce Almighty' (Oct-Nov), 'Matrix Reloaded' (Oct-Dec), 'Shrek' (Dec-Feb) and 'Ice Age' (Dec-Feb). Movie screening times and locations will be accessible in newspapers and on a new web site www.captionmovies.co.nz from next week.

Human Rights Commissioner Robyn Hunt said the screenings were a major achievement and made movies accessible and enjoyable for a whole new potential audience.

"The screenings mean that deaf and hearing impaired adults and kids will be able to more fully enjoy popular films. There are an estimated 420,000 to 450,000 New Zealanders who are deaf or hearing impaired.

"Captioned film screenings hold appeal for other audiences as well. The screenings will be of interest to the elderly, people for whom English is a second language and new settlers.

"I encourage all those who would benefit from the screenings to attend the sessions in their areas and for all people to spread the word so that captioned screenings become a regular feature of the cinema experience."

Captioned screenings are more explanatory than sub-titled films as they feature descriptions of sound effects as well as dialogue indicating who is speaking.

Captioned screenings will take place in Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson, Wellington, Rotorua, Napier, Auckland, Whangarei, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North and New Plymouth.

The first captioned film screenings - Lord of the Rings - took place on a limited basis in November 2002 in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. A captioned version of the second of the Lord of the Rings films screened in February and March this year.

The national release of captioned versions of popular films is the result of a joint effort between the deaf community, representatives of the film industry and the Human Rights Commission.

Session times can be found in newspaper directories and on the website www.captionmovies.co.nz from next week.

Ends


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