Athena Cinema Launches New Accessibility Focused Film Series


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

This week, the Athena Cinema begins its series of films accessible to all. Every Saturday in September, the theater will offer a unique and limited screening of a contemporary art film. In addition to showcasing independent films, the Athena Cinema will create inclusive events for everyone, including those who find mainstream film screenings 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.

Athena Cinema Director Alexandra Kamody said that by creating more theatrical experiences built around the ideal of an accessible cinematic and theatrical experience, the 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 Athena offers Captiview closed captioning devices, many people have had negative experiences with devices which 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’re seeing a lot of sensory screenings planned for 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 movies 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:

September 11: Sound of Metal
Metal drummer Ruben begins to lose his hearing. When a doctor tells him his condition is going to get worse, he thinks his career and his life are over.

September 18: Swan song
Legendary actor Udo Kier plays retired hairstylist Pat Pitsenbarger, who escapes from the confines of his small town of Sandusky, Ohio. at home after learning of her former client’s dying wish to have her do her latest hairstyle.

September 25: Ailey
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. Tickets cost $ 5 per session.

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 Theater is made possible in part by state taxes allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a public 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 the Athena Cinema, visit its website here.


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