'Touch is a film designed by and for blind people. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced.'

Recently I enjoyed a movie unlike any other.

I didn't necessarily 'watch' or 'see' the movie like usual, though it was undoubtedly the best film I had ever heard.

Using only the power of sound, Touch is a 'pictureless film' designed to be enjoyed by all, however, it was specifically created to allow people who are blind or have low vision to be able to participate in the cinema experience. 

Now you might be thinking, is Touch just a long-feature podcast? Technically, it is purely audio and there are no visuals. But let me tell you, it's the best audio experience I've ever had, and it certainly felt like more than just a podcast. 

Watch: The director and director attachment of Touch speak about the film. Post continues below.

Video via ABC

Research from YouGov found that 32 per cent of Aussies who are blind or low-vision experience barriers that stop them from watching and listening to movies.

And nearly two in three do not feel represented in films, movies, and TV shows.

Touch was conceived by Mastercard in partnership with the Australian bank Westpac. The film relies on sound, music, carefully crafted dialogue and expressive actors to tell the story of a scientist trapped deep inside his father's brain after a lab experiment gone awry. 


The storyline goes as follows.

The scientist's son tries to improve his dad's mood and happiness by experimenting on his brain. What can possibly go wrong, right?? It's sci-fi with bits of comedy dotted in between. Suddenly when the machine he's created malfunctions, the son becomes trapped in his dad's brain, adventuring through the different sections to find his way back to reality.

There are childhood memories, where a younger version of his dad resides, strings of old western music playing in the background. 

There's the prison part of his brain that stores all the pain, including the loss of his wife.

Then there's the part of his dad's brain filled with hopes and aspirations.

Look I don't want to spoil the ending, so I'll just say there's a lot of love, realisations and a delightful fable-type synopsis to wrap it all up if you will. 

Before the film began, the director had one suggestion for those in the audience who aren't blind or low-vision, like myself. It was to experience Touch with your eyes closed.

Explaining it would be a "richer and fuller experience" to do it eyes shut, I decided to give it a whirl. Yes, there were times when my eyes did pop open and I recalibrated my surroundings. 

But for the most part, I sat back, relaxed, closed my eyes and listened.


And it's designed specifically for this – all the speakers are perfectly positioned around the audience, making you feel like you're inside and amongst the film rather than just a spectator. 

Director Attachment and blind actor Ben Phillips says that having an advisory role during this experience was pivotal to ensuring this film could be enjoyed strongly by all.

"It's amazing to have created a film that makes us feel included. Touch not only achieves inclusion, but also equality," he notes.

Touch Director Tony Krawitz and Director Attachment Ben Phillips. Image: Supplied.


"We are making history, and the film will change the lives of people around the world. Why? Because stories should be shared with all people of all abilities. This proves that inclusion doesn't have to be hard. It can be simple and easy."

Director Tony Krawitz adds: "It's a motion picture but with no pictures. Normally sound comes last and picture comes first. Here it's been a whole reorganisation of thinking – from the script, to the actors, to working with the sound designers and composers. It's about what do you hear and how do you get led through a story by sound."

To wrap a nice neat bow around the film, all ticket proceeds went to Blind Citizens Australia.

Once the film had finished, the cinema's pathway lights were re-lit, and the audio was stopped, a lot of the audience then sat still for a while. 

Some had tears, particularly one woman sitting with her mother who has low vision. It looked as though they were both taking in a special moment together – a moment they had been able to share equally. Others smiled, nodding to the person next to them about what an interesting experience it was.

To be taken on a magical ride only via my ears and not have to worry about what was on screen was an incredibly unique experience for someone like me who has full vision. 

It's a film that will stay with me for a very long time.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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