PARK CITY, Utah – Marlee Matlin, Jeremy O. Harris and Eliza Hitman walked out of a screening of the film playing in competition at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday night after a closed circuit device malfunctioned.
Matlin, who is deaf, is serving alongside Harris and Hitman in films that are making their US Dramatic Competition debut at the festival in Park City, Utah, this week. The judges walked out together when they realized what had happened, which happened during the screening of “Magazine Dreams”. Various people began to publicize the matter.
Joana Vicente, CEO of the Sundance Institute, said in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday that the closed device, which relies on Wi-Fi, was checked before the operation and was working, but it did not work.
“Our team immediately worked with the equipment on site to test it again and the equipment worked without any problems,” Vicente said. “Our goal is to make everything (in person and online) possible for all participants. Our efforts are accessible, authentic, constantly changing and the solutions help improve the whole team.”
Attendance at film festivals has been a big issue for years, and this event also showed how organizers are trying to adapt to accommodate all fans. Vicente said his team has been working hard in the area, but admitted there is still a lot to learn.
“We are committed to creating an experience that belongs to all partygoers,” the statement said. “We see accessibility as one of the things that drives the success of organizations and this work is done in partnership with the film industry.”
Matlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Vicente said that he and his friends will see “Magazine Dreams” in the coming days.
The Sundance Film Festival will continue on Jan. 29.
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