CUHK Students Hold Special Screening of Ocean Films for Visually Impaired
Students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) held a special screening of ocean documentaries today (30 April) for the visually impaired as part of the third Annual Hong Kong-San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival. MOTIVIC, the student led social service project under the University’s I•CARE Programme, took five documentaries on ocean protection and marine animals, dubbed them in Cantonese and inserted live audio description to help the visually impaired better understand and visualize the films. All the participants have enjoyed a great adventure into the ocean together without visual or language boundaries.
MOTIVIC was organized by two Ethnomusicology postgraduate students from CUHK, who endeavor to improve the well-being of the visually impaired people through music and culture, and promote their inclusion in the community. With the support of the I•CARE Programme, MOTIVIC have organized a wide range of music workshops and performances since 2012 for the visually impaired to ‘see the world’, and also to encourage understanding between them and CUHK students.
This special screening brings together a rich mix of international films covering different topics related to the ocean: conservation, wildlife, culture and humanity. For instance, artists using plastic rubbish from the sea and abandoned fish nets from the stomach of whales to create art works; the ecological balance between white sharks and pinnipeds; a hospital on a boat in Bangladesh; and giant animals of the ocean.
Vincent Lam, CUHK Ethnomusicology postgraduate student and Founder of MOTIVIC, said, ‘It is bold and creative idea of our team to introduce these films to the visually impaired. The whole production process from transcription, translation, dubbing, inviting professional audio describers, to promotion and the recruitment of volunteers were all done by members of MOTIVIC. It is an unforgettable experience for us, and we hope every participant will be inspired by the movies and the experience.’
The event is fully supported by the Hong Kong Society for the Blind (HKSB). Ms. Chan Lai-yi, Manager of Information Accessibility Centre, HKSB said, ‘This is the first time that ocean documentaries have had audio description added for the visually impaired. We are amazed by Vincent and his team (MOTIVIC) that they could overcome all the challenges in such a short preparation time. Their passion is highly appreciated.’
Doug Woodring, organizer of the HK-SF International Ocean Film Festival and Founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance, said, ‘We have some incredible features this year, and anyone interested in the ocean, and our relationship to it, will not want to miss this event. We are very excited to be working with MOTIVIC to be able to present this special screening to the visually impaired at iSquare.’
About I•CARE Programme
With the slogan ‘Aspiration through reflection; Renewal through civility’, the I•CARE Programme aims to promote students’ holistic development through social and civic engagements in Hong Kong, mainland China and overseas countries, and to raise their humanistic and civic awareness. Led by the Steering Committee for Promoting Personal Development through Social and Civic Engagement, the programme adopts an integrated approach and supports students to participate in six programmes, including: 1) Social Service Project Scheme, 2) Research and Study Scheme, 3) NGO Internship Scheme, 4) Social Enterprise Scheme, 5) Local Poverty Alleviation Initiative, and 6) University Lecture on Civility.
About Ocean Recovery Alliance
Ocean Recovery Alliance brings together new ways of thinking, technologies, creativity and collaborations in order to introduce innovative projects and initiatives that help to improve our ocean environment. It has two projects with the Clinton Global Initiative focused on the reduction of plastic pollution, and is one of the only NGOs in the world to be working with both the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Oceans. It also organizes Kids Ocean Day in Hong Kong, and 2014 marks the third Hong Kong-San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival.