Pro Infirmis works out individual agreements with cultural institutions that want to commit to implementing inclusive measures. Its specialist unit Culture Inclusive now recognizes the many years of work to make the Locarno Film Festival more accessible with the label "Culture Inclusive". The Festival also commits to the Charter on Cultural Inclusion, strengthening its awareness-raising work and advocating for barrier-free architecture. New interpretations of the festival content will also promote exchange on the topic of "inclusion". The festival will introduce the following measures, among others: More screenings with audio description and subtitles, Relaxed Screenings, use of Plain Language and translation into LIS (Italian Sign Language).
Sara Bellicini, responsible of the Programming Office Pardi di domani and responsible for inclusion at the Locarno Film Festival: "Diversity enriches our human experience through its variety. It allows us to discover new ways of thinking and living, to grow as individuals and as a community. Making diversity visible means creating awareness of diversity and thus making our society more equitable and welcoming. For this reason, the festival is committed to a barrier-free event, showing its appreciation for the diversity of all participants."
Important initiatives in various fields of action
In last year's edition, the Locarno Film Festival offered the audience a panel with cultural professionals with disabilities, addressing inclusion. Such a panel is also planned for the 2023 edition.
Also this year, selected films from the official selection will be offered as Relaxed Screenings. During these screenings, dimmed lights will shine, sounds will be accepted, and audiences will be able to leave and re-enter the halls with ease. - The Festival will continue to deepen its collaboration with Regards Neufs by making more films available with audio description and subtitles. This will make the films accessible to people with visual and/or hearing disabilities. - For special moments on stage, translation in LIS will be introduced. - In addition, the introduction of an escort service for people with disabilities will be evaluated. - For the elaboration of the accessibility measures and for the sensitization of the staff, experts with disabilities will be consulted and appropriately remunerated.
Obstacle free architecture
By 2026, the existing infrastructures will be made more accessible and the festival is committed to taking this aspect into account from the outset for new installations. - Pictograms will signal the features and accessibility of the various festival venues in the future. Disabled parking spaces will be marked on a map available online.
Access to accessibility information is made easier. Relaxed screenings will be listed in the program and highlighted on the website dedicated to accessibility. - Starting in 2025, the festival will revise its own website according to WCAG guidelines and make its social media channels accessible. - Subtitles for videos and alternative texts for images that can be read aloud via text-to-speech are also planned for 2026.