A new pop-up cinema that’s dedicated to empowering and representing disabled audiences and talent will have its first virtual screening this week.

Caption This Cinema will host an online showing of Rodney Evans’ 2019 documentary Vision Portraits, which explores the creative journeys of three blind and visually impaired artists – photographer John Dugdale, dancer Kayla Hamilton, and writer Ryan Knighton – while he examines the impact of his sign loss, looking to them for guidance and insight.

Vision Portraits will be available to watch on Eventive from Wednesday 17 November to Friday 19 November.

At 7pm on Friday, ticket holders can attend a discussion on the importance of disability representation in cinema hosted over Zoom, with guest speakers: film academic Theresa Heath, and festival programmer Tara Brown. This will include the speakers providing visual descriptions of themselves, BSL interpretation, and live captioning provided by Cinema For All.

Charlotte Little, the founder of Caption This Cinema, was inspired by her experiences as a disabled moviegoer to create the pop-up. The Aberdonian programmer and access consultant aims to empower and prioritise the Deaf and disabled communities in both virtual and in-person screenings that will be held across Scotland throughout the year.

She said: “Growing up, I never saw positive, authentic on-screen stories about disabled people. I didn’t experience my first accessible cinema trip until I was 17. I also didn’t see myself on the big screen until I was 20. I want to change that for the generations of young disabled kids after me. I want disabled people to feel valued as audience members. I don’t want access to be an afterthought or seen as a burden.”

“Working as an access consultant within the film exhibition sector and having a personal perspective as a hard of hearing and partially sighted moviegoer, I’ve seen how far we’ve come but I’ve also realised how much work we have left to do in order to standardise inclusive cinema experiences. I want more spaces and events that celebrate and prioritise representation and accessibility. I set up Caption This as my own contribution.”

Charlotte added: “I chose Vision Portraits as my inaugural film because I’ve struggled with pursuing a career in the film industry as someone who’s losing their sight. I saw myself in Rodney Evans’ journey, and I hope that by showcasing this beautiful documentary, I’ll lend a hand to deconstructing the harmful misconception that blind and partially sighted people can’t be creative, that they can’t thrive and succeed in the arts, that they don’t have vision.”

Tickets for the event are available now from Eventive, and are on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale from £8 to £0. To find out more about the event, visit Caption This Cinema’s Facebook, or Charlotte’s Twitter.

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