When a station pulls off something unique, it shows that great ideas can still be churned out if one really feels the ‘trueness’ of the concept. Radio Mirchi did something which is not only magnanimous, but also extremely thoughtful—last Saturday, at Sathyam Cinemas, they held a special screening of Kabali for the visually-challenged.
The station has organised this before, but for the first time it has managed to do it with a film that is currently running to houseful shows. This is how it works: an audio description is recorded over parts of the movie, to explain what is transpiring when there are no dialogues. The narration is by RJ Senthil and the narrative has been penned by Latha Venkatraman.
The film was made ready for the visually-challenged in just three days, with Illavenil (sound engineer) mixing it to 5.1 surround sound with assistance from Four Frames and Real Image. This unique CSR initiative, aptly named Cinema for Everyone, was a resounding success as more than 700 visually-challenged individuals enjoyed a film that they might have never been able to catch.
This is a massive step towards inclusiveness. The same frenzy and jubilation that surrounds a Rajnikanth movie was experienced at this special screening. The station is hopeful that, at some point, audio description will become a process of movie making, just like subtitling. This will set a trend for others to follow.
Film producers who were invited to the screening also seemed very keen on replicating it. This should be an eye-opener for other stations and a reminder that people out there, whether visually-challenged or not, will appreciate and salute such unique initiatives.
See you next week with more radio talk.
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The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.