This year, the Vilnius Short Film Festival is taking its first steps towards greater inclusivity and integration of diverse audiences. To achieve this goal, the festival has implemented the following measures:
- Creates content for diverse audiences. While the festival traditionally offers short films and events tailored for children, adults, elderly individuals, families, and filmmakers, this year’s initiative also extends inclusivity to people with vision impairments, the deaf/hard of hearing, and those with physical disabilities.
- National Competition Programs with SDH subtitle and audio description. SDH stands for subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. These subtitles assume the end user cannot hear the dialogue and include important non-dialogue information such as sound effects, music, and speaker identification. Audio description is the auditory narration of visual representations, during gaps in dialogue, it describes visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes. It is particularly beneficial to people who are blind and vision impaired and people with print, learning and physical disabilities. In Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai and on the virtual platform “ŽMONĖS Cinema” National competition programs will be with SKN subtitles, and in Vilnius MO Museum – with sound description.
- Lithuanian Sign Language Interpretation. To accommodate the deaf and hard of hearing community, certain events, including the opening ceremony and QnAs with filmmakers after the National competition programs screenings in Vilnius, will be translated into Lithuanian Sign Language.
- Screening venue MO Museum accessible to all. MO Museum ensures accessibility for people with mobility impairments through elevators, special bathrooms, and wheelchair-friendly infrastructure. The museum’s entire premises, including the exhibition hall, are designed to cater to individuals with physical disabilities.
- Films with English Subtitles. All films featured in the Vilnius Short Film Festival include English subtitles, enabling a wider audience to enjoy the short films.
- Festival Team and Volunteers ready to support: The festival team and volunteers are equipped to assist attendees with disabilities. An accessibility guide has been provided, offering tips on accessibility, outlining the steps taken to enhance accessibility for the festival, and establishing guidelines for interacting with individuals with disabilities.