February 2, 2023


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Marley Matlin on the importance of captioned films after the Sundance jury walkout

4 min read

A day after Sundance juror Marley Matlin walked out of the premiere of “Magazine Dreams” in protest, along with the rest of the festival’s jurors, the Oscar winner spoke in depth about the importance of open captioning in films. Speaking diversity And at Stacey’s Pita Chip Raise Brunch, an event celebrating female creators on January 21, Matlin passionately advocated for better inclusive storytelling.

Asked about his work on 2022 Best Picture winner “CODA” (which also jumped to the 2021 Sundance Fest), Matlin emphasized the length of his film to embrace all moviegoers. “The film was open captioned, the whole film, so you couldn’t turn it off and on,” Matlin said diversity Senior entertainment writer Angelique Jackson. “For me, it made me feel very included, because I could sit down and watch the film with everyone feeling the same way, at the same time, with the same emotions. It worked on different levels. It’s about ‘CODA,’ and it’s a film that I really like. Proud.”

The Friday before this conversation, Matlin was unable to sit with the Sundance audience at the premiere of the feature film “Magazine Dreams” because the captioning device he was given failed to work. diversity Exclusively reported that as a sign of solidarity, all the jurors decided to leave the theater with him to highlight a larger issue about making films accessible to all festival goers.

In his conversation, Matlin touched on his goals, ambitions and his first time directing for television. Towards the end of the discussion, he returned to his previous statements about open captioning, stressing their importance

“I’m the queen of captions, if you want to know the truth,” she continued. “Captioning is not just for the deaf. I’ve heard that ‘The Crown’, which is amazing, is probably a difficult show to understand. So you turn on the caption, how many people turn on the caption for ‘The Crown?’ So I’m constantly making noise and spreading the message to everyone that it’s very important to have captions, whatever we’re talking about, everything is on the screen.”

“You’re going on a plane and you want to watch a film and I have to watch it with captions But the airline, for some reason, chooses, and it’s a weird reason, that you can watch movies with subtitles, even though they’re already subtitled. Unlike others who can pick and choose whatever is out there, they will give us a choice of 10 of what they have. So why are you deciding for us? So that’s just one part of the many things that I have to work on. There’s a lot out there.”

Watch the full conversation above.

The diversity And Stacey’s Peeta Chip “Rise” event also included two additional conversations: Debbie Ryan (“Insatiable”), Algie Smith (“Euphoria”), Grace Byers (“Harlem”), Arianna Bocko (President of IFC Films), Lily Gladstone on the second panel. (“Fancy Dance”) and Karrueche Tran (“Close”).

Panelists discussed the intricacies of filmmaking and the entertainment industry; Each chronicled how they reached the point in their career that brought them to this Sundance panel. “Fancy Dance” actress Gladstone explained that she learned while mentoring children, “People are human and we all have something really important and unique to share, and sometimes there’s a camera there to capture it.” The panelists went on to discuss how they approach their craft, whether acting in film and television or acquiring and distributing entertainment.

Ryan elaborates on the scary aspect of presenting your craft. “You lose yourself a lot and find yourself in all this work that so many people have created. But then the public-facing element of it is really scary and confusing and there’s no roadmap for it,” he said. Ryan concluded by advising the room to be about the work. “Focus on the work,” he said. “If you think you’re going to be there. If you’re not qualified, then qualify to go there. Learn it. Take classes, talk to people, and if you’re there, be where you need to be.”

Watch the full conversation above.

Finalists included Stacey Madison, founder of Stacey’s Pita Chips; Nisha Ganatra (Director of “Late Night”) and Rasheda Boyd (Frito-Lay’s Vice President of Marketing) discuss Stacey’s Pita Chips’ debut short film, “Rise,” which was also shown at the presentation.

“Rise” sheds light on the struggles women entrepreneurs face today and the fight to make progress. The film spotlights three previous winners of the Stasis Rise Project: Joseline Ramirez, Maria Jose Palacio and Sazani Amarasiri.

Filmmaker Ganatra explains the inspiration behind his short, “We thought about what gives you resilience and felt that it comes from our roots. It was the roots [that] Give us resilience and with resilience we rise. And then we all work together. It was really a collaborative group of all women who came together to make this film happen.”

Stacy Madison added that not only did a film like “Rise” create opportunities for young women around the world, it also showed her own twin daughters that women can create their own stories. “[‘Rise’] Shows that our future can be different moving forward and you can do it.” The founder expressed the idea that her daughters can move forward, knowing that “there are certain jobs that are okay for a girl or a boy.” To ask them more questions. Don’t: “Where is a woman’s place?”

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