Virgin Atlantic Partners with Women Over 50 Film Festival to Add Dementia-Friendly Films to Inflight Entertainment

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Virgin Atlantic Partners with Women Over 50 Film Festival to Add Dementia-Friendly Films to Inflight Entertainment

Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with the Women Over 50 Film Festival (WOFFF) to enhance the inflight experience for passengers living with dementia and their families or caregivers. Starting this month, a curated selection of short films from WOFFF filmmakers will be available as part of Virgin Atlantic’s inflight entertainment offering, Vera.

Virgin Atlantic Partners With Women Over 50 Film Festival To Add Dementia-friendly Films To Inflight Entertainment

A Relaxing Experience for Travellers Living with Dementia

The films have been carefully chosen, with input from UK charity Carers UK, to provide a soothing and engaging experience for travellers living with dementia. Nuala O’Sullivan, founder of WOFFF, expressed her delight at collaborating with Virgin Atlantic to make the magic of cinema accessible to a broader audience. With 944,000 people living with dementia in the UK and 55 million worldwide, it’s crucial to ensure they aren’t excluded from everyday life, hobbies, or travel.

Thoughtfully Curated Films

WOFFF, known for celebrating the work of older women in the film industry through its annual festival, also screens short films in care homes across the UK. Working closely with Carers UK, they developed the dementia-friendly film program for Virgin Atlantic. Micheal Shann of Carers UK praised the initiative, emphasising that these films can be enjoyed not only by those living with dementia but also by family members and caregivers.

The selected films rely less on dialogue and more on music and movement to convey their plot-lines. From Scottish Ballet’s relaxing dance film to a nature animation with soft, muted colours, each film aims to captivate and soothe passengers during their flights.

The Dementia-Friendly Film Selection

The following films will be available on Vera, Virgin Atlantic’s inflight entertainment system, from June to December 2024:

  • Entitled (Director: Adeyemi Michael)
  • Eulogy for the Dandelion (Director: Gloria Civantos)
  • Haud Close Tae Me (Director: Eve McConnachie)
  • The Honeys and Bears (Director: Veena Rao)
  • Lay Me Low (Director: Marlene Millar)
  • Old Mother Blackbird (Director: Sophie Bancroft)
  • Swim (Director: Maike Mahira Koller)
  • Walks With Me (Director: Kati Kallio)

Sophie Bancroft, whose film “Old Mother Blackbird” is part of the program, shared her excitement about the universal story of maternal love and family depicted in her work.

A World First

This dementia-friendly film program is believed to be the first of its kind on any inflight entertainment system worldwide. The partnership aligns with Virgin Atlantic’s 40th birthday celebrations and reinforces the airline’s founding mission that everyone can take on the world.

Sharon Noyau, Manager of Inflight Entertainment Content at Virgin Atlantic, expressed pride in expanding their entertainment options to include these thoughtful and inclusive films. The hope is that the dementia-friendly short film selection will bring joy and comfort to passengers living with dementia and their families as they travel with Virgin Atlantic.

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