Eliza-Jayne puts her TOUCH on new pictureless film

TOUCH film

Broken Hill local Eliza-Jayne was involved in the making of TOUCH, a new pictureless feature-length film – a first for Australian cinema.

Directed by Tony Krawitz, the film uses only the power of sound and was specifically created to allow people who are blind or have low vision to be able to participate in the cinematic experience, showing that pictures don’t need to orient a storyline.

Presented by Mastercard in partnership with Westpac following the rollout of its Touch Card, which features three distinct notches to help blind and low vision people distinguish between their bank cards, TOUCH was designed and driven by an impulse to be inclusive throughout each stage of the production process.

Eliza-Jayne – who has end stage glaucoma – worked as a Sound Department Attachment on the film and spoke to the Barrier Truth about her involvement on the production team, telling us it was an amazing experience.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of Australia’s best sound engineers, and I’ve learnt a lot sitting and watching and working with them. It’s been an amazing experience. Money can’t buy experiences like this”, she said.

“It was wonderful being part of a production team where you have that creative input to take the raw product and hone it into something that’s quite unique and quite incredible. It’s allowed me to get another feather in my cap as a Foley artist and I don’t think I would have had that experience, and I wouldn’t be able to have that title attached to myself otherwise, if I hadn’t been a part of TOUCH.”

The film tells the story of Ben, a young man who along with his two friends Naomi and Mo get trapped into the consciousness of his father Alf after an experiment gone wrong. To escape his dad’s mind, the trio needs to go through his memories, learning more about the man they thought they knew while learning more about themselves, too.

“It’s a film not for the faint hearted. It’s got a really quirky plot development. It’s quite easy to follow because of its construction. It will be something that a lot of people would never have even conceived as possible in the past,” Eliza-Jayne said.

“A lot of people will wonder what makes it different from a podcast or a radio play or an audio book. The differentiation here is that each character is played by a different actor. It’s very easy to differentiate between actors because of the voices and the soundscape is tailored to introduce different worlds as our three main characters wander through each world, which is the interior of an individual’s mind.

“It’s a real trippy plot line but it’s a story that takes one on a rollercoaster ride of emotion. It’s a beautiful story and its approach to being modern and really getting a message through is just absolutely brilliant.”

Eliza-Jayne says the film has allowed for people who are blind and vision impaired to be a part of its production team in consultative and practical roles, allowing for creative input that she hopes will show fully sighted people what the cinematic experience can be like for others.

“What it does is it gives us an opportunity to be working alongside sighted people in a creative field without any compensations or without anybody saying, ‘oh, that can’t be done, but we’ll give you a shot and we’ll treat you with kid gloves’. This has been just a full-on production where we’ve all had equality,” she said.

“It’s normalised vision impairment and blindness as a disability and it’s taken that huge leap forward for us out there in the community. It also exemplifies to people who are fully sighted what the cinematic experience is like for people who are blind and vision impaired.

“The soundscape is absolutely magnificent. It’s so intricately produced, and it’s probably the best soundscape I’ve ever heard. It just takes into detail so much more than other films that use vision as a media to pass on a message.

“It draws people who are fully sighted into a blind or vision impaired world for 60 minutes. I would hope that it would make people who are fully sighted consider what it might be like for those of us who have vision impairment as a barrier in our day-to-day life.”

TOUCH is currently in post-production and will premiere at Westpace Open Air in Sydney on Tuesday, February 13. Mastercard has also partnered with Humanitix to deliver a full accessible and inclusive box office experience, with tickets ($38 plus booking fee) to the event available to purchase until sold out via

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