Finding work as a film critic in today's media landscape isn't easy. As newspapers and websites shutter, unable to pay freelance critics let alone its own hardworking staff writers, the choice to dive head-first into film criticism as a profession feels misguided and shortsighted. Even worse: Those who have managed to hold onto their jobs are often part of an "old establishment" that has been slow to let in new voices.
The Sundance Film Festival, with its new Press Inclusion Initiative, has made strides to change that. How? As the organization made clear, "by allocating a minimum of 20% of top-tier press credentials for its festival to critics from underrepresented communities, including women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ and people with disabilities." And now Rotten Tomatoes, the popular film review aggregator that forms a "Tomatometer" consensus on a movie based on the reviews of working film critics, has joined the initiative.
“Rotten Tomatoes is proud to be supporting Sundance Institute’s efforts to ensure that a diverse and inclusive group of critics and journalists will have access to the films premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival."
Announced this morning, Rotten Tomatoes will be providing Sundance with $25,000, as part of the website's larger $100,000 grant program created to provide underrepresented film critics with access to key film festivals. “Rotten Tomatoes is proud to be supporting Sundance Institute’s efforts to ensure that a diverse and inclusive group of critics and journalists will have access to the films premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival,” said Jenny Jediny, Rotten Tomatoes critic relations manager. “We will be working closely with Sundance Institute to vet their newly credentialed critics for Tomatometer approval prior to the start of the festival.”
If you're a film critic who would like to apply for press credentials to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, please email email@example.com for information regarding press accreditation.