World Autism Awareness Day returns on Saturday 2 April and the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) is once again inviting members to participate in the annual campaign and promote the industry’s involvement and support of ‘Autism Friendly Screenings’ (AFS).
Over 1,000 AFS took place during the 2015 campaign, a 60 per cent increase on 2014. It was estimated that those UK cinemas taking part welcomed well over 12,000 guests.
AFS are subtlety adapted screenings to create an environment that is welcoming for people with autism, learning disabilities and cognitive disorders. They have sound levels turned down, the lights left at a low level and film-goers are able to make noise and sit where they feel comfortable.
The success of last year’s campaign, both in terms of the numbers of cinemas that participated and of those who attended, really highlighted the importance of AFS to local communities.
This year, the UKCA is proposing to support and celebrate World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) by hosting AFS in UK cinemas during a two week period starting on Saturday 26 March and running until Sunday10 April. For many exhibitors this will once again fall over the Easter Holidays. Exhibitors are encouraged to host at least one AFS per site in as many sites as possible.
To ensure that your screenings are promoted on all platforms and for more information on how best to promote your screenings, or if you are thinking of putting on your first AFS, please contact Grainne at the UKCA firstname.lastname@example.org.