I told you I’d gone for the big guns. Never one to do things by half, I emailed all the distributors in the UK. And DISNEY emailed me back. I’m not sure I was really expecting that . Hopeful, yes. Expectant, no.
The questions I asked of the distributors were entirely informed by the initial meeting that I had had with Merlin Cinemas. I really, really wanted to find out whether the distributors were penalising the cinemas that showed ‘too many’ subtitled films. That idea made me feel a bit sick.
Here are some snippets of my conversation with them:
On whether films always have subtitles:
“Disney has for some time implemented a policy whereby every film copy provided to UK cinemas for any new Disney cinema release is always supplied together with an accompanying HOH subtitled version… of the same film as an integral part of the copy provided. So both HOH Subtitled and Audio Descriptive versions of each new film we release will always be available to any cinema booking a Disney film when that cinema draws up its screening schedule for the Disney film concerned.”
As far as scheduling is concerned:
“We can confirm that scheduling decisions of this nature are entirely the decision of the cinemas concerned.”
So, the cinemas both have access to and are entirely empowered to decide how many screenings they show. No penalising here. I asked Disney whether they wanted to give me a letter of support, but it’s their policy not to support individual campaigns. They did say this though:
“We certainly understand your concerns in this area, and wish to state that The Walt Disney Company is fully committed to promoting the accessibility of its feature film content to all audiences, including hearing-impaired customers such as your parents…good luck with your campaign”
I’m going to say that they’re on board. Thanks Disney.