Sundance Jury Walks Out of Screening Over Captioning

Marlee Matlin joins request for open caption prints at Sundance
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2023 5:10 PM CST
Marlee Matlin, Sundance Jurors Leave Premiere Over Captioning
From left, Taylour Paige, Elijah Bynum, Jonathan Majors, and Haley Bennett attend the premiere of "Magazine Dreams" at the Eccles Theatre on Friday in Park City, Utah.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

When the closed captioning device provided to actress Marlee Matlin for a screening Friday night didn't work, she and two other Sundance Film Festival jurors walked out. The device was fixed hours later, Variety reports, but that still could have left the showing without adequate captioning for other deaf and hearing-impaired audience members—which has been an issue at the festival. Matlin left the Eccles Theatre with Jeremy O. Harris and Eliza Hittman, the other jurors for the US Dramatic Competition. The Utah festival said they'll watch Magazine Dreams together before the event ends. The festival acknowledged the malfunction but said employees checked the Wi-Fi devices before and after the screening and found no problems, per the AP.

"Our accessibility efforts are, admittedly, always evolving," the festival CEO said in a statement. In a letter, the jurors urged filmmakers to permit the screening of "open caption DCP" prints. "As a jury our ability to celebrate the work that all of you have put into making these films has been disrupted by the fact that they are not accessible to all three of us," they wrote. Several filmmakers have rejected providing open captions onscreen, blaming the cost of making another copy, per Variety. Stressing the importance of accessibility for all, the jurors wrote, "There's a thrill to sit in a room with others who love films and cheer for them together." (Read more closed captioning stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.