In the darkness of a cinema space, the audience sits blindfolded. Behind each row of audience members is a row of children who in hushed voices describe a film only they can see. Accompanied by the soundtrack (which has no dialogue), the whispered descriptions are a fragile, fragmentary and at times struggling but courageous attempt by the children to make sense of what they see projected on the screen.


Based on the method of audio description, ‘Blind Cinema’ as a live event is an experience where the act of watching a film becomes a shared investment: A collaborative and imaginative act between seeing children and blinded adults. It embraces the fact that the act of trying to find the right words to describe (even if at times being ‘at a loss for words’) and of trying to hold onto the consequently unstable images created in the mind’s eye, will always only be an approximation. To articulate in words in order to share experiences involves a struggle, a struggle that seems to be closest to those in the midst of discovering language’s potential and limits.


In focusing on that which lies beyond the sense of sight (leaving the illusory reality of cinema to re-enter that of the imagination), the attention oscillates between each shared but internal world guided by the whispering voice, and the shared physical space of the darkened cinema.


The film screened during the performance will be seen by each group of children for the first time. Hence, each performance will have a new group of describing children. Each screening is preceded by a workshop with the group of children, aged between 9 and 11 (tbc), performing on the day.


//

Team


Direction / concept – Britt Hatzius

Dramaturgy – Ant Hampton

Film – Britt Hatzius, Simon Arazi, Maxim, Boris Belay

Technical design / production assistance (blindfolds / speaking funnels) – Maria Koerkel, Geert Aertsen

Children's workshop coordinator – tbc.

Creative Producer – Katja Timmerberg

Thanks to – Thomas Tajo, Georgia Venetakis, Geertje De Ceuleneer, Axel Cleeremans, Campbell Works Gallery, LABO Brussels, Susanne Dietz, Miila, Nico, Alice, Josh, Marina, Rebecca, Anne Haaning, Neil Benun, Anna Rispoli, David Weber-Krebs, Duncan Speakman (sound mix), Houle, Cunio and Bown (music) and everyone who kindly attended the many try-outs.


A co-production between Vooruit (Ghent), Beursschouwburg (Brussels)

and Bronks Theatre (Brussels).

BLIND CINEMA

PAST PRESENTATIONS:


11.February 2017

Koksijde, Belgium

(Dutch)


10.+11.February 2017

Frascati Theatre

Amsterdam, Netherlands

(Dutch)


9.-12.January 2017

COIL PS122 Festival

New York, US

(English)


26.- 27.Nov 2016

Festival inTACTO

Victoria-Gasteiz, Spain

(Spanish)


12.- 13.Nov 2016

New Vision Festival

Hong Kong

(Cantonese)


7.- 9.Nov 2016

Culturgest

Lisbon, Portugal

(Portuguese)


28.Oct 2016

Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival

Harstad, Norway

(Norwegian)


26.-30.Sept 2016

Contemporary Arts Centre Cincinnati

Cincinnati, US

(English)


28.-30.Sept 2016

STUK, Start! Festival

Leuven, Belgium

(Dutch)


8. - 18.Sept 2016

Time-Based-Art Festival

(TBA)

Portland, US

(English)


29.June - 5.July 2016

Performance biennial

Athens, Greece

(Greek)


12.+13.May 2016

Mayfest Festival

Bristol, UK

(English)


21.+22.April 2016

Flatpack Festival

Birmingham, UK

(English)


7-17.April 2016

Changing Places / Espacios Revelados

Santiago de Chile

(Spanish)


6.February 2016

IFFR  International Film Festival Rotterdam

Rotterdam, Netherlands.

(Dutch)


5.+6.February 2016

MOIS MULTI Festival

Quebec City, Canada

(French)


29.-31.January 2016 Progress Festival 2016

The Theatre Centre

SummerWorks

Toronto, Canada.

(English)


6.+7.November 2015

Beursschouwburg / BRONKS Theatre

Brussels, Belgium.

(Dutch, French, English)


24.+ 25.October 2015

Vooruit

During the International Film Festival Ghent, Belgium.

(Dutch)


26.+ 27.September 2015

Festival De Keuze

Rotterdamse Schouwburg

Rotterdam, Netherlands.

(Dutch)


24.-28.August 2015 Forest Fringe

Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland.

(English)

UPCOMING

PRESENTATIONS:



1.+2.April 2017

Schwankhalle

Bremen, Germany

(German)


5.+6.July 2017

The Flare International Festival

Manchester, UK

(English)


8.+9.July 2017

NOTAFE Festival

Viljandi, Estonia

(Estonian)

[ drawing by Nico ]

PRESS / TEXT / REVIEWS / INTERVIEWS


Review, Contemporary Performance, New York, US, January 2017

https://contemporaryperformance.com/2017/01/10/in-performance-britt-hatzius-blind-cinema/


Review, Village Voice, New York, US, January 2017

http://www.villagevoice.com/event/blind-cinema-9517954


Preview, City Beat, Cincinnati, US, September 2016

www.citybeat.com/arts-culture/culture/article/20835167/not-seeing-is-believing-in-blind-cinema


Review, TBA (Time-Based-Arts Festival) Portland, US, September 2016

www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2016/09/20/18577752/tba-review-britt-hatziuss-blind-cinema-is-not-for-child-hating-roald-dahl-villains


Review, Total Theatre, Mayfest Bristol, May 2016

www.totaltheatre.org.uk/britt-hatzius-blind-cinema/


Review, Three Weeks, Edinburgh Festival, August 2016

www.threeweeksedinburgh.com/article/ed2015-theatre-review-blind-cinema-britt-hatzius/


Recommendation of Blind Cinema in The Guardian, May 2016

www.theguardian.com/books/2016/may/22/on-my-radar-sarah-waters-cultural-highlights


Text about Blind Cinema written for Goethe Institute Toronto, January 2016

www.blog.goethe.de/arthousefilm/archives/383-Blind-Cinema-beyond-the-sense-of-sight.html


Text about Blind Cinema written by Gaëtan Gosselin

Director of Recto-Verso / Le Mois-Multi, Quebec, Canada, 2016.

download: Blind Cinema_Britt Hatzius_GaetanGosselin.pdf


Radio Interview with Britt Hatzius at Flatpack Film Festival, BBC Radio 4, April 2016

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0770qv5


Video interview with Britt Hatzius, Espacio Revelados, Santiago, Chile, April 2016

https://vimeo.com/160984538