Mastercard Creates Australia’s First Feature-Length Motion Picture Without Pictures

Mastercard, in partnership with Westpac, has announced ‘TOUCH’, Australia’s first ever pictureless feature-length film using only the power of sound.

Directed by award-winning director, Tony Krawitz (‘Into the Night,’ Jewboy,’ ‘The Tall Man’) ‘TOUCH’ follows a young man, Ben, who gets trapped in the consciousness of his father, Frank, after an experiment goes wrong. To escape, Ben must go on an epic adventure through his dad’s memory, learning more about a man he thought he knew.

Featuring globally recognized talent including sound editor Wayne Pashley (‘Elvis’, Mad ‘Max: Fury Road,’ ‘The Lego Movie’), composer Jonathan Dreyfus (‘A Night of Horror,’ ‘Fat Legs,’), ‘TOUCH’ was created by a diverse cast and crew with a shared ambition to redefine what the cinematic experience could be without pictures orienting the storyline.


 

“What would it be like to be in a cinema with hundreds of people and only focusing on sound? A movie without pictures? TOUCH is a one-of-a-kind story that explores a man’s mind, his memories, his tics – all without images,” said Krawitz.

“The film has been designed for people to enjoy, and to enable people to experience what it’s like not to have your vision to orient you. To make the audience use their ears as if they’re detectives, gripped by what’s going to happen next.”

Throughout the film’s production, leading inclusive filmmaking organisation, Bus Stop Films supported on the production with a series of focus groups, including people who are blind and low vision, to inform and direct the outcome of the film. During the film’s production Bus Stop also supported blind and low vision crew members in roles such as project consultants and director’s attachments, ensuring all roles were steered by the crew member’s passion and skills.

Benjamin Phillips, Krawitz’ attachment, actor from Offspring and aspiring film director said, “For those like myself who are blind, our appreciation of film often relies heavily upon the audio experience, so when a film’s sound evokes emotion, it can paint a colourful picture in our imagination.


 

Working on TOUCH has allowed me to collaborate creatively on such an inclusive film, unlock opportunities in production, and showcase to Australia how content can be experienced, without the limitations of ability or disability.”

With ‘TOUCH’ set to premiere at a special event at Westpac OpenAir on 13 February 2024, Mastercard and Westpac OpenAir have worked together to create an inclusive event experience, including a collaboration with Humanitix to deliver an accessible box office experience.

Deb Deshayes, CEO of Blind Citizens Australia, which consulted on TOUCH, added, “It’s crucial to have entertainment that not only considers people who are blind or vision impaired, but also involves them in the whole development process.

To have a film like TOUCH is an important step towards building a more inclusive future that will allow 500,000+ Australians to enjoy content like everyone else. For people who are blind or vision impaired, movies like this and the use of audio description make a huge difference to how we engage with media and socialise with our peers.”

Earlier this year, Westpac became the first Australian issuer to roll out accessible cards with theMastercard Touch Card™ feature, an innovative design system of simple yet distinct tactile notches to help people who are blind or low-sighted identify and differentiate their credit, debit and prepaid cards with just a touch.

Julie Nestor, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard added, “Mastercard believes innovation should always be driven by the impulse to include. By leveraging the power of sound, Mastercard is aiming to create an immersive experience transcending visual boundaries and redefining storytelling in cinema.”

Majella Knobel, Westpac Head of Access & Inclusion, said, “In addition to the film itself, an important part of this project was making sure the needs of many individuals were considered as part of the end-to-end cinema experience – from accessible amenities to accommodating guide dogs. This is such an important and influential topic, and it’s been wonderful collaborating with Mastercard and OpenAir to ensure a broad diversity of needs have been considered as a common thread throughout the entire conversation.”


Cast and crew edits:

Director

Tony Krawtiz

Directors attachment

Benjamin Phillips

Cast

Ben: Alexander England

Naomi: Maeve Dermody

Mo: Adam Briggs

Frank: David Field

Young Frank: Kyzen Petelo

Sarah: Hannah Waterman

Murray: John Waters

Casting: Stevie Ray CGA

Casting Assistant: Michelle Ny

Inclusion Partner: Bus Stop Films

Sound Department

Recording and Sound Engineer: Chris Doherty 

Supervising Sound Editor: Wayne Pashley

Re Recording Mixer: Dave Robertson

Executive Producer: Bonnie Law

Sound Department Attachment: Eliza Jayne

MUSIC BY Stare Crazy

COMPOSED AND PERFORMED BY

Amy Andersen

Reggie Beer

Judith Brandenburg

Jonathan Dreyfus

Meggy Freidhof

Stefan Janik

Daniel Müller

The Staff

The Staff

Gettin' it done, when the done needs gettin'.

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