Sundance Jurors Stroll Out of Mag Desires After Closed Captioning Problems

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The cast of Magazine Dreams at Sundance 2023.
Photo: Arturo Holmes/2023 Getty Images

Accessibility during film festivals continue to be an on-going discussion, and Sundance is no different. Variety reported that Sundance dramatic jury members Jeremy O. Harris, Eliza Hittman, and Marlee Matlin walked out of Friday’s premiere of Magazine Dreams after the festival failed to provide adequate captioning for hearing-impaired audience members. The captioning device given to Matlin did not work, thus resulting in the collective walkout. The device was repaired hours later and the jurors plan to screen the film “as a group” before the end of the festival. Sundance CEO Joana Vicente released a statement to Variety on the incident: “Our goal is to make all experiences (in person and online) as accessible as possible for all participants. Our accessibility efforts are, admittedly, always evolving and feedback helps drive it forward for the community as a whole.” The jury also sent a letter to filmmakers encouraging them to make the films more accessible by allowing open captions on the screen.

Magazine Dreams, starring Jonathan Majors, Haley Bennett, Taylour Paige, Mike O’Hearn, Harrison Page, and Harriet Sansom Harris, follows Majors as Killian Maddox, a bodybuilder that’s disconnected from social cues and controlling his emotions. The film has several more screenings at the festival throughout the week.