Featured Customer

Rev Premium Service Captions Help Sundance Film Festival Reach Largest-Ever Audience

“As we were geographically working in 5 different time zones, the workflow was remarkably easy for both our editorial and technical teams. The quick turnaround from submission of files to having completed caption files allowed us to hit deadlines. We didn’t miss a beat.”

Andrew Sevillia photo
Holden Payne
Technical Director of Exhibition, Sundance Institute

Results With Rev

Results image 1

More than 6,780 minutes of video

captioned for the Festival
Results image 1

Participating audiences from

all 50 U.S. states and 120 countries
Results image 1

Streamlined workflows

for a technical distribution team across 5 different time zones

About The Sundance Film Festival

The Premier Film Festival in the United States

The Sundance Film Festival is where independent films go to reach engaged, influential audiences. 

Over its 35-plus year history, the Sundance Film Festival has evolved into the boldest showcase for independent creativity in the United States, bringing together exciting new voices and fresh perspectives across the entertainment industry and beyond. The Festival has helped launch and expand the careers of legendary filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino, Dee Rees, Ryan Coogler the Coen Brothers, Ava DuVernay, and many, many more.

As a  premier film festival in the U.S., Sundance is always a special occasion, typically drawing thousands of people to the snowy streets of Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah, for 11 days of film screenings, panel discussions, networking events, and celebrations. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to hold the 2021 edition of the festival in its original format. Instead, Sundance Institute’s leadership made the unprecedented choice to completely reimagine the festival for a digital setting. 

The result? The most highly attended festival in Sundance history. Despite a shorter duration and a proportionally reduced program of feature films, the 2021 Sundance Film Festival drew audience views of more than 600,000— 2.7 times larger than the typical in-person audience for the 11-day in-person edition. But 2021 wasn’t just Sundance’s most viewed Festival to date. Thanks to a partnership with Rev, the Institute was able to host a remarkably accessible Festival as well.
 

sundance

Customer Challenges

Making a Virtual Film Festival Accessible to Audiences

The online Festival’s programming slate included 73 feature and 50 short films, four indie series, 23 talks and events, and 14 projects in the New Frontier exhibition for innovative storytelling.

In order to host the best possible digital version of the Festival, Sundance Institute’s directors knew they needed to make accessibility a priority, and that meant finding the right partners across areas of practice.

Sundance Institute sought an accessibility partner who could provide high-quality closed-captioning services for their immense volume of content. Furthermore, they needed a service that could promise fast turnaround times without sacrificing quality. That’s why they chose Rev’s Premium Service Captions offering for all of the Festival’s video content.

“Inclusion and accessibility are drivers of institutional excellence and among Sundance Institute’s core values,” said Karim Ahmad, Sundance Institute’s Director of Outreach & Inclusion. “But that promise of accessibility requires support – of our artist community, and of critical partners like Rev.”

Sundance chose Rev’s Premium Service Captions offering, which provides customers a higher level of service to ensure consistent, reliable quality at scale. With more customization options, a dedicated account representative, and Rev’s best captioners working on their files, Festival organizers were able to be more productive and spend less time on quality control.

“We knew that one of our core values at the Institute — that of ACCESS — was going to be key to center as we designed the Festival… We were able to reach our largest audience ever by custom designing the flexible and feature-rich digital Festival, and technical support like our collaboration with Rev enabled us to remove so many barriers.” - Sundance Institute

Solutions

Consistent Quality with Fast Turnaround Times

As a Premium Service Captions customer, the Festival’s exhibition team had on-demand access to Rev’s top captioning professionals. These Revvers captioned more than 6,780 minutes of video for the Festival, including films and partner content.

Whenever the Sundance Film Festival team submitted caption files, Rev's proprietary automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology surfaced a first draft of those captions to the top 5 percent of Rev captioning experts — the absolute best of the best. One completed, those caption files were then checked again in one final quality review before they were sent back to the Festival team.

The speed and quality of the caption files helped the Sundance team keep the Festival on track, even in a more fragmented remote work environment.

“As we were geographically working in five different time zones, the workflow was remarkably easy for both our editorial and technical teams,” said Holden Payne, Sundance Institute’s Technical Director of Exhibition. “The quick turnaround from submission of files to having completed caption files allowed us to hit deadlines and thoroughly proof and copy edit those files. We didn’t miss a beat."

Removing Barriers, Centering Core Values 

Ultimately, the digital 2021 Sundance Film Festival went off without a hitch, engaging audiences from more than 120 countries and territories around the world and all 50 U.S. states.

“We knew that one of our core values at the Institute — that of ACCESS — was going to be key to center as we designed the Festival. We balanced that with upholding the potent excitement and sense of occasion that’s the lifeblood of a live in-person Festival. We were able to reach our largest audience ever by custom designing the flexible and feature-rich digital Festival, and technical support like our collaboration with Rev enabled us to remove so many barriers,” Sundance Institute said in a statement.