INTRODUCING Smart Caption Glasses at LSFF 2020

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We're very pleased to announce the first UK pilot of smart caption glasses for D/deaf and HoH cinema-goers.

This January, LSFF will host the first UK pilot in cinemas of the National Theatre’s smart caption glasses, a solution for D/deaf, deafened or hard of hearing audiences, at BFI Southbank.

As part of the festival’s ongoing commitment to accessibility, LSFF is delighted to announce that smart caption glasses will be available to cinema-goers at all LSFF 2020 UK Competition screenings with support from the BFI Audience Fund (awarding funds from The National Lottery), BFI Southbank, National Theatre, Epson, the UK Cinema Association’s Technology Challenge Fund and Cinebox.

Launched in 2018 by the National Theatre (NT), following a year of testing with audiences who are D/deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, smart caption glasses have been in use for 80% of their performances on the South Bank.

The Open Access Smart Capture technology was the result of an ongoing collaboration between the NT’s technical team and speech and language experts led by Professor Andrew Lambourne.

The glasses display a synchronised transcript of dialogue and sound directly onto the lenses of the glasses, giving service users the freedom to experience captions how and when they want to. Accenture and the NT developed the service using Moverio BT-350 smart glasses, which are designed and manufactured by Epson specifically with arts and culture applications in mind.


How do I book a pair of smart caption glasses?

To book your tickets and smart caption glasses together for available screenings, please email London Short Film Festival at For these pilot screenings there are a limited number of tickets available which are complimentary for smart caption glasses users. If a screening looks sold out on the BFI website, it is possible there will be dedicated spaces for smart caption glasses users so please contact us to confirm availability.

Which LSFF screenings will smart caption glasses be available at?

A limited number of smart caption glasses will be available for booking for the following LSFF UK Competition screenings:

How do smart caption glasses work?

Watch the instructional video from the National Theatre to find out how to use the glasses.

Can I still wear my glasses when using smart caption glasses?

Yes you can. Smart caption glasses are adjustable and fit over your glasses.

Where do I collect my smart caption glasses from when I arrive at BFI Southbank?

Once you have collected your tickets from the LSFF guest desk, please go to the smart caption glasses desk that will be located outside the NFT1 auditorium. When you arrive at the designated desk, staff will be able to assist with picking up your smart caption glasses for the performance and will offer instruction on how to use them. Smart caption glasses will be available to collect up to 30 minutes before the start of each performance.

Will the smart captions glasses be needed for introductions and Q&A’s?

No. STTR (Speech To Text Reporting) will be provided for the screening introduction & filmmaker Q&A’s. This text will appear on screen in the auditorium and therefore the smart caption glasses will only be needed for the films being screened.