A film festival that breaks down barriers for disabled

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A film festival that breaks down barriers for disabled


Han Ji-min

Each year it seems like there are more unusual film festivals that surface in Korea - there is an animal film festival, an environmental film festival, another movie event to celebrate multiculturalism, festivals for indie films and the like.

But no doubt one of the most noble movie events is the Barrier-Free Film Festival, which provides a chance for those with hearing and visual impairments to encounter some of the latest films.

The festival is taking place at the Korean Film Archive’s Cinematheque theater in Sangam-dong, western Seoul, where several movies are being screened with subtitles and audio commentary tracks over four days.

At the opening yesterday, actress Han Hyo-joo and director Huh Jin-ho joined honorary ambassadors Han Ji-min and Kim Sung-kyun to kick off the event. The opening ceremony was followed by a 20-minute audio performance called “Way to the Dark Cafe” in which the audience encountered what it is like being visually impaired; this section was modelled on the world-renowned exhibition and workshop “Dialogue in the Dark.” The opening film was the Italian drama “Red Like the Sky.”

Today at the Cinematheque, a forum examines the Japanese case of incorporating subtitles and audio commentary for impaired viewers. Seven films will be screened until Sunday, closing with “The Terror Live.” 2PM’s Junho provided the audio commentary for the film.

For more information, see www.barrierfreefilms.or.kr.

By Carla Sunwoo [carlasunwoo@joongang.co.kr]

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