The film’s impact campaign was split into two, with a UK-focused cinema release and audience engagement project, followed by an Africa-wide impact campaign.
In the UK, the researchers undertook a cinema and engagement tour, with a launch at the Glasgow Film Festival. Screenings, many of which took place in bilingual communities, were accompanied by question and answer sessions with the filmmakers and local and national linguistic experts. A total of 1,200 people attended these screenings, with 60% of attendees saying that the film changed how they think about childhood and language.
The African arm of the campaign included a training programme for indigenous language subtitlers and proof-readers, resulting in the film being subtitled in 27 different African languages, with the film released through the Afridocs platform. The translation programme received more than 500 applications, and those who undertook the free training were then paid to subtitle and proof-read the film. The 54 successful applicants now have skills to take film translation forward as a career.
The training programme of online lectures and training materials is now available as an open source resource for the future training and development of indigenous language subtitlers, and the project has led to the establishment of the first African Film Translation Network.
Professor Higgins added: “Through this project, we’ve seen how academic film-making can reach wider audiences, and the impact that can have. I’m incredibly proud of the work that we’ve achieved, and hope that we can use this, and our learnings, as a blueprint for further work with a social focus going forward.”
The full impact report can be viewed online.
You can watch Colours of the Alphabet online now.