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RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA INTERNATIONAL (RPI) TO PRESENT “BATMAN FOREVER” FEATURE FILM TO BLIND AUDIENCE IN “THEATREVISION,” A UNIQUE PROCESS THAT DESCRIBES ON-SCREEN ACTION FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; Two Hundred Young Blind Olympians from Across the USA to Attend RPI’s “TheatreVision” Presentation in Hollywood on April 10th; LA DODGER LEGEND WES PARKER TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS EVENT
Hollywood, CA, APRIL 10, 2010 – The charity organization Retinitis Pigmentosa International (RPI), and its president and founder, Helen Harris, will hold a special presentation for two hundred young blind Olympians from across the USA of the Warner Bros. feature film “Batman Forever.” The film will be shown in “TheatreVision,” a unique process developed by RPI in which a motion picture’s on-screen action is described aurally (by celebrity narrators) for blind and visually impaired movie-goers. (The late actor Michael Gough, who portrayed “Alfred” in “Batman Forever” was that film’s TheatreVision narrator).
The presentation will take place from 4-7pm on Saturday, April 10, 2010, at the Harmony Gold Preview House theater (7655 Sunset Blvd., LA 90046). Mrs. Harris will also be handing out to each attendee both a print and audio copy (narrated by renowned actress Anne Jeffries) of Harris’ book, “How To Survive Losing Vision,” as well as a music CD of Harris’ original song, “No Child Left Behind.”
The RPI “TheatreVision” presentation will be the concluding event of a day- long “Olympics” for the Junior Blind, a series of physical challenges that will be held earlier on April 10th in Downtown Los Angles. This event is held annually for blind children and young adults.
Legendary LA Dodgers First Baseman Wes Parker will participate in the event. A six-time Gold Glove winner (1964-1972), Wes Parker may go down in Dodger history as one of the best fielding first basemen ever. During his tenure with the team, he helped lead the Dodgers to both the 1965 and 1966 World Series.
Currently marking its 20th anniversary year, “TheatreVision” is a program that makes feature film presentations accessible to the visually challenged. The concept of narration and description in motion pictures was created by Mrs. Harris in 1990. “TheatreVision” incorporates a special soundtrack for feature films that runs concurrently with the dialogue of the motion picture. This second soundtrack provides a “description narration” of what is being shown on the screen, so that audience members who are blind—or those with limited sight--can still experience the medium of motion pictures.
With the help and cooperation of many in the Hollywood community, the prototype for “TheatreVision” was developed by Mrs. Harris, who then worked in conjunction with many of the entertainment industry’s leading filmmakers --several of whom have created “TheatreVision” versions of their existing films. These specially formatted films have been made available, through RPI, to libraries, charitable organizations, special screenings, and schools for the blind.
To date, over 100 Hollywood feature films have been produced in “TheatreVision,” with many having been narrated by noted celebrities. These have included “Forrest Gump,” “Titanic” (narrated by James Cameron and Angie Dickinson), “Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menance” (narrated by Samuel L. Jackson), “Mission Impossible,” “Apollo 13” (narrated by William Shatner), and “It’s A Wonderful Light” (narrated by President George H. W. Bush). More recent entries have included “Twlight,” “Valkkyrie,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Seven Pounds,” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”
ABOUT HELEN HARRIS:At the age of 72, Helen Harris has been a tireless advocate on behalf of people with visual impairments for the past 40 years. Herself a victim of retinitis pigmentosa (along with two of her three sons), and legally blind for more than three decades, Mrs. Harris personally knows all too well the helpless and hopeless feeling of having a disease that is little known. She is the founder of Retinitis Pigmentosa International, which she has dedicated to the “preservation and restoration of sight.”
ABOUT RPI:From modest beginnings, RPI has grown into a global organization, committed to focusing world attention on eye problems, and to promote research, public awareness, education, and human services for victims of degenerative eye diseases. With the support of dedicated volunteers, including many entertainment, political, and sports figures, RPI has raised over $ 5-million to date for eye research and education during the past 40 years of telethons and special events, including its annual “Vision Awards” fundraiser. In addition, RPI has also enlisted other donors into contributing more than $ 300-million directly to medical research for eye health.
Said Mrs. Harris, “RPI has made a real difference. Within just the past several years alone, great strides have been made in retinal transplantation. What was impossible to even imagine five years ago will almost certainly become a reality within the next decade. New technologies and medical techniques have brought us to the threshold of hope, to the day when Retinitis Pigmentosa or Macular Degeneration will no longer carry with it a lifetime of darkness.”
For more information, please visit: www.rpinternational.orgContact: Mary Ellen Sanders(818) 992-0500
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