Saturday, 1 December 2012

Cineworld to screen Autism Friendly Films to accommodate those who cannot attend normal screenings.

Cineworld to screen Autism Friendly Films to accommodate those who cannot attend normal screenings. 
By Claire Henderson
Saturday 1 December 2012 

Dimensions, the leading social care provider has announced that Autism Friendly Films will be screened twice a month because of its new partnership with a second national cinema chain.  

The Not-for-profit organization who supports those who experience autisms and people with learning disabilities, has partnered with Cineworld to extend its Autism Friendly Film initiative. Screenings will now happen across the UK in more than 100 cinemas every two weeks as Dimensions teams up with Cineworld and its first partner, ODEON.  

The project between Dimensions and ODEON began in August 2011 and since then the screenings have grown with popularity. This is the first time a social care provider has teamed up with two entertainment companies in this way. This offers a wider choice for cinema-goers.  

The unique partnership allows Dimensions to advise the adjustments needed for people with autism and sensory differences which will allow them to enjoy watching films in an environment conducive to their needs.  

Lisa Hopkins, executive director of practice and development at Dimensions, said that having two such partnerships would make more opportunities for people with autism to be included in their communities.  

“We are really pleased to be partnering with Cineworld to extend this important and successful project even further,” said Lisa.  

She explained how people who maybe excluded from the normal cinema experience, because they find the sensory experience too hard to manage, will be able to watch more films more often in a cinema adapted to their needs. 

“These opportunities are important stepping stones towards full inclusions in mainstream cinemas,” she said. 

The cinema experience can be challenging, but it is one that can be changed and made accessible by good partnership working. Dimensions have seen how successful such initiatives can be, in just the first year 21,000 people watched screenings organized with ODEON, with prospects of building upon that further. 

Jo Cook, who supports two people who attend Autism Friendly Film Screenings, sad: “It is a fabulous idea that I hope continues for years to come. It’s wonderful seeing children enjoying themselves who otherwise would not be able to attend for many different reasons. We look forward to the next film showing.” 

Tamlin McKinnon, head of customer services at Cineworld, said: “Cineworld are delighted to be teaming up with Dimensions to extend the range of screenings that will show and welcome in an audience who may have previously felt the cinema experience off-putting.” 

Every month Cineworld will provide Autism Friendly Screenings in 21 of their cinemas. Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger will be the first screening on December 2nd at 11am. ODEON’s next screening will be in more than 80 of their cinemas, it will also be Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, on December 16th at 11.30am.

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