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Film Festival Guide: Choosing A Closed Caption & Foreign Subtitle Provider

Sundance Film Festival Egyptian Theater

RevBlogClosed CaptionsFilm Festival Guide: Choosing A Closed Caption & Foreign Subtitle Provider

The film festival circuit may not look like it has in past years. Many notable festivals are hosting their events entirely online. Their virtual activities are designed to allow more participants even in the face of continued COVID-19 precautions. What if things go back to normal in the next few years? The rise in close captions and subtitling will lead to a “new normal” for festival creators and organizers. It’s important to embrace the changes. Here’s how you can choose the right provider for your film festival.

Why film festival captioning matters

The pandemic brought about the need for virtual film festivals. Even before this, organizers were looking for a way to serve all communities. Those who may benefit from ADA guidelines are of particular interest. Film has a great influence on culture. Decision-makers at festivals knew captions were a window of opportunity. They provided a way for those who may not enjoy a traditional festival without on-screen subtitles.
Captioning was already in the works for many forward-thinking creators. The move to online cemented the importance of making sure everyone could see and hear filmmakers’ stories. This tech is key for accessibility in film.

There’s more to it than just providing a welcoming environment for film buffs, however. By not providing an ADA-compliant film, website, or accompanying online content, you could open yourself up to lawsuits. If the idea of being inclusive isn’t enough, the legal ramifications should be enough to make you consider captions.

What captions should you use?

When it comes to picking the right way to add text to your films, consult the festival’s guidelines. The Sundance Film Festival outlines what they consider their minimum requirements for filmmakers. These include Closed Captioning and foreign subtitles in English. This festival is often considered the gold standard of festivals. Following their recommendations can save you trouble when submitting a film to multiple venues. These will be mandatory for all films starting in 2021.

Is this your first virtual film festival? English closed captioning for English films and Foreign subtitles (in English) for your audience is now industry standard. Know this before you submit your film.

How to boost your online film festival audience

Using subtitles and captions isn’t just important for those seeing your films in real-time. It’s essential for helping boost your influence in the film circuit. What can you do to make sure no one misses your movie and the conversation happening around it? Ways filmmakers are embracing captions to build buzz around their project include:

  • A robust social media marketing campaign, complete with interviews and other film content
  • Movie trailers and “teasers”
  • Behind-the-scenes footage, B-roll, and exclusive video content
  • Panels and talent Q&As
  • Feature film premiers and exclusive screening opportunities

If there’s a video, there should be captions. Don’t limit your reach with any of your content. Subtitles and captions ensure you can build that excitement with every possible member of your community. It also offers a more consistent experience for the media and those covering your event.

Which provider should you choose?

Rev currently offers a full suite of text tools for video creatives. These include the English closed captioning and foreign subtitles we’ve already mentioned. There’s more Rev’s known for, however. Filmmakers today are embracing the technology that gives them access to post-production transcription. They are using real-time captioning and transcription for their Zoom Call panels.

Virtual festivals won’t have the same room limits as some live events. Even more people can learn about your project through interviews and special events. By captioning them as they happen, no one misses out. After-event transcripts also make it easy for the press to accurately relay your project vision. These services are a win-win for building community and staying on-brand. Rev can handle all of these tasks through a simple solution that’s affordable, too.

Rev’s partnership with Sundance film festival

Rev is also the official caption provider for the Sundance Film Festival. Our innovative tech makes it easy for even first-time filmmakers to figure out. With Rev’s text-to-speech expertise, there will be over 6,780 minutes of captioned video for everyone to enjoy. In addition to film, all of the extras we love about film festivals will have inclusive experience options. Discussions, panels, and awards will be broadcast live online with accompanying English captions.

More about Rev

Rev is positioned to be your end-to-end service. We can handle everything, including the initial caption files needed by the online film festival well before the event. Submitting your file is easy, and you’ll get 99%+ accuracy of your text and a competitive price. If you get stuck, Rev offers customer service experts to help you out. You can rely on us as your one service for every distribution channel. We have multiple download options for captions in various formats.

This year may be very different from past festival years. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with the changes. Select one provider to handle all your transcription and captioning requests. Then, you’ll have this one aspect of filmmaking and promotion covered. Rev is being trusted with one of the largest events of the year. The faith the Sundance film community has in Rev offerings speaks volumes. It’s what you can expect when we are serving your audience, too.

The bottom line for online film festivals

Filmmakers have so much on their minds. Often, the film festival is seen as the last mile and the celebration of a job well done. While festivals should still be embraced as a sign of accomplishment, the changes in festivals have created new challenges. By preparing for these now, you can pick the right transcription provider and file types for your needs. The future of film may be different, but the heart of the art isn’t.

Your indie film festival experience largely depends on how well the audience receives your message. Is it time to ramp up your captioning so that everyone can experience it?

Get A Free Caption Consultation

Do you need captions and subtitles for your film festival? Contact us at Rev to get a free consultation of your captioning and subtitling needs. Fill out the form below and a Rev specialist will reach out.