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Svayam and Mumbai International Film Festival 2024 Partner to Champion Inclusivity in Cinema

Svayam and Mumbai International Film Festival Partner for Accessibility


Svayam and Mumbai International Film Festival 2024 Partner to Champion Inclusivity in Cinema

In a landmark move, Svayam, a prominent organization committed to promoting accessibility, has joined forces with the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2024 as its official Accessibility Partner. This partnership marks a historic milestone, as MIFF, in its 18th edition, will be fully accessible to attendees with special needs and reduced mobility for the first time.

Setting the Stage for Inclusivity

Scheduled to take place from June 15th to 21st, MIFF 2024 promises to be a vibrant celebration of diverse voices and compelling stories brought to life through the magic of cinema. Thanks to Svayam’s involvement, this year’s festival will be distinguished not just by its rich film lineup but also by its commitment to inclusivity.

Svayam’s role as the Accessibility Partner is pivotal. The organization will conduct a thorough access audit of the festival venue, ensuring that every aspect meets the highest standards of accessibility. This audit will be complemented by specialized training sessions for the festival’s staff, volunteers, and participants. These sessions will cover essential topics such as accessibility etiquette, appropriate terminology, and best practices for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Voices of Leadership

Prithul Kumar, the Festival Director and Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership. “We are happy to have Svayam on board as our accessibility partner for the 18th Mumbai International Film Festival. This is the very first time in the history of MIFF that the festival venue will be made fully accessible for people with special needs. This partnership will ensure a more inclusive festival experience, allowing a larger number of participants to enjoy the screenings and be part of the masterclasses, panel discussions, and other events. Svayam’s expertise in accessibility will open the doors for a wider audience to engage with the magic of cinema and we at NFDC are committed towards it.”

Ms. Sminu Jindal, Founder-Chairperson of Svayam, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the fundamental importance of accessibility. “Accessibility is a fundamental right, and we at Svayam are dedicated to ensuring spaces are welcoming to all. We are honoured to be associated with MIFF 2024 and look forward to contributing to the international film festival experience that is not only culturally enriching and entertaining but also inclusive and accessible to everyone.”

Transforming the Festival Experience

The collaboration between MIFF and Svayam aims to set a new benchmark for inclusivity in film festivals. The initiative underscores the belief that cinema, as a powerful medium of expression and cultural exchange, should be accessible to everyone, regardless of physical abilities.

By conducting a comprehensive access audit, Svayam will identify and address potential barriers that could impede the full participation of individuals with special needs. This proactive approach ensures that the festival environment is not only compliant with accessibility standards but also genuinely accommodating and welcoming.

The training sessions provided by Svayam are designed to equip festival staff and volunteers with the knowledge and skills necessary to assist attendees with special needs effectively. These sessions will cover a range of topics, including the correct use of accessibility-related terminology, understanding different types of disabilities, and practical strategies for providing support.

A Vision for the Future

MIFF 2024, in collaboration with Svayam, is poised to redefine the standards of inclusivity in film festivals. This partnership is more than just a logistical arrangement; it is a bold statement about the importance of accessibility in cultural events. It reflects a growing recognition that true inclusivity requires intentional efforts to remove barriers and create spaces where everyone can participate fully.

As MIFF 2024 opens its doors to a broader audience, it also opens a new chapter in the festival’s history. This year’s edition will not only showcase outstanding films from around the world but also stand as a testament to the power of collaboration and the shared commitment to making cultural experiences accessible to all.

In the words of Ms. Sminu Jindal, “We believe that this initiative will inspire other film festivals and cultural events to prioritize accessibility. By making MIFF 2024 an inclusive event, we hope to set a precedent that will encourage more organizations to embrace and champion accessibility.”

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