DIFF, Sennheiser tie up to improve cinema experience for viewers with special needs

The Dubai International Film Festival, DIFF, and Sennheiser have teamed up with full endorsement from the National Media Council, NMC, to make films enjoyable for viewers with special needs.

The move supports President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s ‘Year of Giving’ initiative, and in line with the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020.

For the first time in the UAE, Sennheiser will offer its personal assistive hearing and translation tool, CinemaConnect. It will be given to audiences at DIFF’s dedicated screening destination DIFF365 at VOX Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates, and to the Festival, which will run from 6th to 13th December, 2017.

Both venues will be equipped with Sennheiser’s state-of-the-art hearing and visual assistance platform, CinemaConnect. It will provide a free and seamless movie-going experience to suit the needs and preferences of all cinema enthusiasts. Compatible with both iOS and Android, the application can be conveniently downloaded directly to a smartphone. It offers hearing assistance, audio description and a portable display unit for closed captioning. This can be directly connected to an assistive listening device or headphone.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of DIFF, said, "We are thrilled to be partnering with Sennheiser, who with their incredible technology and great efforts are enhancing the big screen experience for those with hearing and visual impairment. Our mission is to bring the most exciting, original and compelling films from the Arab world and beyond to as many people as possible to let them discover different cultures, make observations about the world around us and provoke conversations that matter. We look forward to launching further initiatives during this very special ‘Year of Giving’ to bring the community together through the power of film."

Mansour Al Mansouri, Director-General of the NMC, said, "This initiative is a natural development for us and an ideal platform to highlight the Council’s continuous efforts to enable those with hearing and visual impairment to enjoy the offerings at cinemas across the UAE and have access to the latest in international cinematic innovation. This is in line with one of our core beliefs in the importance of providing access to all mediums of content for all our residents across the UAE."

Mig Cardamone, Director of Sennheiser Middle East, said, "We are extremely proud to collaborate with the DIFF and receive a full endorsement from the National Media Council to showcase our intuitive assistive listening tool to audiences in the UAE through CinemaConnect. Sennheiser fully supports inclusion and recognises that hearing is an important prerequisite for the ability to participate in social and cultural life.

"With its uncomplicated, readily accessible and easy to understand technology, the CinemaConnect system enables all theatre enthusiasts to discreetly enhance their cinematic experiences. It reinforces Sennheiser’s commitment to inclusion outlined in the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020 and our desire to deliver optimum audio experiences to a diverse, international community of cinema lovers," Cardamone added.