Accessible Film Festival 2017

British Council once again supported the Accessible Film Festival 2017 in its fifth year.

The British Council supported the free Camera and Dance Workshop lead by Tuğçe Tuna in Istanbul, the VR experience of the film Notes on Blindness in Istanbul and Ankara and the Wheelchair Simulation in Ankara. British Council ensured the accessibility of the three UK films screened at the festival (Notes on Blindness, Macropolis and Fixing Luka) for visual and hearing impaired audiences.

About the festival

Inspired by the simple fact that every individual has a right to participate in the cultural life, Ankara Accessible Film Festival (AAFF) started its journey in 2013. The purpose was, and still is, to create and sustain an environment where disabled individuals can engage in and enjoy social and cultural activities just like anyone else. 

All of the screenings, workshops and other side events during the festival are organised to be accessible by all so that individuals with disabilities can watch films together with their loved ones and participate in cultural and social events. Through this initiative, AAFF believes that society, as well as these individuals, will benefit in terms of creative, artistic and intellectual capacity.

Selected contemporary movies are presented with audio description (for those who are visually impaired) and sign language and detailed subtitles (for those who are hearing impaired). The Q and A sessions following the screenings will be translated into Turkish sign language. The workshops and other side events within the festival are arranged to be easily accessible for individuals who are visually or hearing impaired. All the venues where festival events take place are carefully selected so that individuals with orthopaedic impairments can easily access the festival. 

British Council will run mini competitions and quizzes during the festival.  Follow our web page and social media for news and updates.

Mini quiz

Answer the questions corectly and win VR glasses

Our competition has now ended. The winners of 4 VR glasses compatible with mobile phones are as below. We will contact the winners.


  • Seher Onart
  • Mustafa Balcı
  • Koray Erşen
  • Merve Gökmen

Reserved winners:

  • Emine Özdemir
  • Birkan Susam
  • Feray Dağıdır
  • Can Oltulu

Accessible Film Festival film schedule:

Accessible Film Festival was at Taşbaşı Cultural Center Red Room in Eskişehir from 5-7 May; Boğaziçi University SineBU Movie Theatre in Istanbul from 12-14 May and Ulucanlar Penitentiary Museum Movie Theatre and Çankaya Municipality Contemporary Arts Center from 18-23 May.

British Council in Turkey supported the screening of a documentary called Notes On Blindness (2016) and two short-films called Fixing Luka and Macropolis under “Films Without Barriers.” Please see the details about the films below: 

Venue and dates: 

Istanbul, Boğaziçi University SineBU Movie Theatre 

12 May - 14.15 Films Without Barriers

13 May - 14.15 Notes On Blindness


Ulucanlar Penitentiary Museum Movie Theatre 

19 May - 12.00 Notes On Blindness 

21 May - 12.00  Films Without Barriers

Çankaya Municipality Contemporary Arts Centre

22 May - 16.30 Notes On Blindness 

Workshop: Perspective// Viewpoint

Accessible Film Festival connects dance and camera through thePerspective// Viewpoint Workshop, which took place between 12 and 14 May in İstanbul.

Jointly organised by Accessible Film Festival and British Council, the workshop aimed to explore the relationship between the movements of body and camera by bridging the gap between two disciplines that are focused on the body and movement. The workshop was managed by choreograph and dance therapist Tuğçe Tuna. 

The workshop, within which the dancers of Dance with Different Bodies project also participated, welcomes anybody who has experience in visual art and/or performance art with a focus on body. Participation is free of charge.   

Virtual Reality (VR) experiences 

In collaboration with British Council, Accessible Film Festival’s program included two VR experiences this year.

1. Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness  

In Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness, the audience had a chance to experience the audio diary of author and theologian John Hull who has been losing his sight slowly since 1983. Through a VR headset, the audience was a part of Hull’s sensory and psychological experiences in this process. In addition to this interactive experience, the documentary named Notes on Blindness (Pete Middleton, James Spinney, 2016) was screened.

  • Istanbul: 12-14 May: SineBu
  • Ankara: 20-23 May: Çağdaş Sanatlar Merkezi

2. Wheelchair Simulator 

This simulator was designed to give a sense of day-to-day challenges of wheelchair users in urban areas to those who do not have an orthopaedic impairment. Designed by Reo-Tek, which is a firm operating at METU Technopolis, the simulator turned challenges wheelchair users face within a city into a VR experience. The Simulator aimed to increase our awareness, understanding and empathy with the daily challenges the city poses to wheelchair uses. 

  • Ankara: 20-22 May: Çağdaş Sanatlar Merkezi

Notes on Blindness

United Kingdom, 2016, 90’, Color, English; Turkish subtitled

Director: Peter Middleton, James Spinney
Screenplay: Peter Middleton, James Spinney
Cinematography: Gerry Floyd
Editing: Julian Quantrill
Music: James Ewers, Noah Wood
Production: Archer's Mark, 104 Films

  • 2016 British Independent Film Awards;
  • Best Documentary Camerimage;
  • Golden Tadpole San Francisco FF Best Feature Documentary

Summary: In the summer of 1983, just days before the birth of his first son, writer and theologian John Hull went blind. In order to make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began keeping a diary on audiocassette. Upon their publication in 1990, neurologist Oliver Sacks described the work as “the most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read”

With exclusive access to these original recordings, Notes on Blindness encompasses dreams, memory and imaginative life, excavating the interior world of blindness.

Peter Middleton, James Spinney

Peter and James have been working together for the past six years on a range of fiction, documentary and cross-platform projects. During this period they have adapted John’s diary material into a series of award winning short films. Notes on Blindness is the first feature of the directors. 

Watch the trailer




Fixing Luka

United Kindgom, 2011, 11’, Colour, No Dialogue

Director: Jessica Ashman
Screenplay: Jessica Ashman, Rosie Crerar, Paul Welsh
Cinematography: Ruan Suess
Editing: Rachel Tunnard
Music: Pete MacDonald
Production: DigiCult 

  • 2011 BAFTA Awards; New Talent Award

Summary: Lucy thinks her brother, Luka, is broken. His obsessive, infuriating arrangements of sugar cubes and thimbles prove it. Lucy thinks he should be fixed, but not in the way she imagines.

Jessica Ashman

Jessica Ashman is an animator and director, based in London. She specialises in stop-motion, cut-out and 2-D animation. 

Watch the trailer





United Kingdom, 2013, 7’, Colour, No Dialogue

Director: Joel Simon
Screenplay: Ciaran Morrison, Mick O'Hara, Joel Simon
Editing: Nathan Mateer
Music: Andrew Simon McAllister
Production: Flickerpix Animations

  • 2013 Irish Film and Television Awards; Best Animation

Summary: Two toys discarded from a factory production line. Coming to life, they chase the factory delivery van in the hope of rejoining their friends.

Joel Simon

Joel Simon is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is influenced by the comic books he read as a child. His primary art form is animation. He founded the animation studio Flickerpix, and has direct both TV series and short films.


2006 On the Air  

2006 Horn OK Please

Watch the trailer

Tuğçe Tuna, the instructor Workshop: Perspective// Viewpoint

As an artist who is realising her existence through body, movement and dance, Tuğçe  has participated in various national and international festivals and organisations, showcasing her interdisciplinary contemporary dance pieces and performances. She has been also a contemporary dance and movement techniques lecturer in various academic dance and theatre venues.  She is a dancer and performance artist, choreographer, director, art director, and movement and dance therapist. Her body of work includes; Displacement, which was awarded by Arena Festival Jury in Germany, The Worst Job, Show of Strength, Wet Volume, Machine Body, Residue, Vertigo, Phronemophobia, Cell, Echo, Chip Off, which are created specifically for locations, and Dance with Different Bodies, a project that has run continuously since 2000. Tuğçe has been the head of the Contemporary Dance Department at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University since 2015, , where she previously worked  as a lecturer and choreographer in 1996.

External links