|Park Hyung-sik, left, and Han Ji-min play visually impaired people falling in love in the short film 'Two Lights: Relumino.' / Courtesy of Naver|
By Ko Dong-hwan
|The poster for 'Two Lights, Relumino,'|
The South Korean electronics producer posted the 30-minute film, titled "Two Lights: Relumino," on the video-sharing site on Dec. 20. In the movie, actress Han Ji-min and K-pop boy band member-turned-actor Park Hyung-sik portray pair two blind people who meet at a camera club and fall in love.
The pair's chemistry heats up with help from Samsung Gear VR, a wearable device that allows them to see. The device, attachable to Samsung Galaxy smartphones, enables wearers to use the "Relumino" app by Creative Lab, an in-house startup incubation program that nurtures new organizational culture and innovative ideas among Samsung employees.
Directed by Hur Jin-ho, the film offers subtitles in English, Chinese, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. The movie ― with a narrator explaining each scene to viewers with visual impairment ― had more than 10.7 million hits on YouTube, while another 10 million views were drawn from feeds on social networks and portal sites, including Facebook, Kakao and Naver. Including related videos about making the film, teasers and interviews with the actors, the total surpasses 33 million.
The film's online traction over a short time is attributable to the actors' persuasive portrayal of people with visual impairment, such as sometimes showing crossed eyes and the repulsive reaction to pitiful helps from passers-by.
Netizens praised the film with comments such as "This 30-min short film grabbed my attention and held it till the end" and "I watched the film with my eyes closed and could feel the beauty of the film." Some said the production deserved praise for "having studied in detail the characteristics of people with visual impairment and depicting them in a most down-to-earth, realistic manner."
The film first screened at Jamsil Lotte Cinema in Seoul on Dec. 21.
Relumino, a visual aid app working in conjunction with Gear VR to enhance the vision of visually impaired people, is available for users of Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S8 and S8+. However, it does not provide support for the totally blind, according to Samsung Electronics.
The app is downloadable free at the Oculus Store.