The theatrical screenings of the Apple TV + movie “CODA” will be as accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing moviegoers, and the theatrical release will include captions recorded in the film’s print.
“CODA” follows Ruby, a girl who is the daughter of deaf parents and who acts as an interpreter for them, as she is the only hearing member of her family. When Ruby discovers a talent for singing and wants to apply to the Berkley School of Music, she causes friction in her family, who depend on her for their fishing business.
The film, which won an award at the Sundance Film Festival, will open in theaters and air on Apple TV +. But nevertheless, Reuters reports screenings in theaters will be a different matter than normal.
In general, deaf movie viewers who want closed captioning must wear special glasses to see the text while watching the movie. This equipment is not always available and, in some cases, it may be damaged or rendered partially unusable.
To counteract this, the film’s subtitles will be recorded on the print itself, eliminating the need for additional equipment in US and UK theaters. It is claimed that this will be the first of a feature film released in theaters.
“It’s historic. It’s huge for all of us,” according to actor Daniel Durant, who plays Leo in the film. “This is a day that we have waited to see for so many years.”
Sian Heder, the writer and director of “CODA,” wanted to make sure the film was accessible to just about anyone. “I often believe that deaf people are left out of the movie theater experience because of non-working devices and the lack of devices in cinemas,” said the director, with the further hope that it will encourage other studios to do the same, and for more deaf people to visit theaters.
“CODA” will be available to watch on Apple TV + starting Friday, with subtitles in 36 languages.