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Lockdown captioners given National Lottery Award for subtitling effort

Sean Welsh and Megan Mitchell, of Matchbox Cineclub, have captioned over 250 films for deaf audiences since the first national lockdown was announced in March.

The project, which saw them work 12 hours for seven days a week, has now been recognised in this year’s National Lottery Awards.

Responding to the news, Sean described the win in the Culture, Arts and Film category as an “honour”.

“We are strong believers that film provides a unique kind of escapism, creativity and excitement for all. 

“That’s why we felt it was important to evolve our work with Matchbox Cineclub and help all audiences find comfort in film during these challenging times,” he said.

The independent company were awarded £6,250 of National Lottery funding when the coronavirus pandemic first hit, which allowed them to offer captions to members of Film Hub Scotland looking to have their videos and screenings made accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people.

Timon Singh, Campaigns Manager for Film Hub South West, said: “I run a cult film club here in the UK and for years [Matchbox Cineclub] have been striving to make sure that I include subtitles in all the films that I show. These are B movies or genre films that often don’t have subtitle files.

“What Megan and Sean do is that they go out of their way to create the subtitle files for us so that we can make our screenings as accessible as possible.”

Megan added: “Thank you to everyone who plays The National Lottery, through your funding we’ve been able open up the joy of film to more people at a time when it’s needed most.”


Photo and video courtesy of The National Lottery.

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