Athena Cinema Launches New Accessibility Focused Film Series | Connect


Athena Cinema presented a new film series aimed at providing an accessible theatrical experience to visitors, which features contemporary independent film screenings.

From this weekend and every Saturday in September, the theater will offer a unique and limited screening of a contemporary art film. Along with films, the theater will create inclusive events for all, including people who find screenings of traditional films uncomfortable or inaccessible due to the atmosphere.

These screenings will support moviegoers with on-screen subtitles and maintain a friendly sensory environment. So-called “friendly” or “sensitive” sensory projections adjust lighting and sound levels to create a comfortable atmosphere for all customers, including people with the autism spectrum.

Alexandra Kamody, director of Athena Cinema, said that by creating more theatrical experiences built around the ideal of an accessible cinematic and theatrical experience, cinema is showing its support for people of all skill levels.

“What we do know about open captions is that it’s a better experience for a lot of people,” Kamody said. “Not only for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or hard of hearing, but also for non-English speakers, the elderly and people with the autism spectrum. “

While the Athena offers Captiview closed captioning devices, the devices are prone to technical issues. Unfortunately, theaters still cannot depend on movie distributors to provide captioning technology for all movies and must request specific files for each movie in order to be able to offer captioning technology.

By planning in advance the programming of subtitled films, the cinema is able to guarantee an inclusive experience.

While some films deal directly with accessibility issues, Kamody explains that the programming was not originally intended to reflect on the theme of accessibility.

“We find that there are a lot of sensory screenings planned for the kids which is great, but we wanted to offer something a little different here,” Kamody said. “When booking movies, a theme emerged and we found that all of the movies touched on the topic of accessibility in one way or another. It was quite beautiful looking at this collection of films and saying, “What is accessibility in the broad sense? For some it may be a chance to be heard, for others it may be a chance to be seen.

The Athena Cinema Accessible for All film series includes the following films:

Metal drummer Ruben begins to lose his hearing. When a doctor tells him that his condition is going to get worse, he thinks his career and his life are over.

Legendary actor Udo Kier plays retired hairstylist Pat Pitsenbarger, who escapes the confines of his Sandusky, Ohio nursing home after learning of his former client’s dying wish for his latest hairstyle.

Alvin Ailey was a pioneer who found salvation through dancing. Ailey traces the full contours of this brilliant and enigmatic man whose search for truth in movement has resulted in an enduring choreography that focuses on the experience of black Americans with unprecedented grace, strength, and beauty.

All shows start at 2:30 p.m. and tickets are $ 5 per screening.

Athena Cinema has partnered with the OHIO Performing Arts and Film Series, OHIO Student Accessibility Services, the Athens County Developmental Disorders Board and the Athens Municipal Commission on Disabilities for this series.

Accessible to all at the Athena Cinema is made possible in part by state taxes allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality artistic experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

The Athena Cinema is an ancillary unit within the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University. It is a non-profit cultural institution dedicated to creating a wide range of cinematic experiences. For more information on Athena Cinema, visit its website.


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