Rotten Tomatoes Gives $25,000 to Sundance Institute's Press Inclusion Initiative

Sundance Film Fest - H - 2017

The popular online destination for review roundups has partnered with the film festival in an effort to include more reviewers from underrepresented communities.

Online review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has pledged $25,000 to the Sundance Film Institute's Press Inclusion Initiative, designed to encourage coverage of the annual Park City festival by a more diverse group of critics and journalists.

Sundance announced the initiative this summer, which will allocate at least 20 percent more top-tier press credentials to critics from underrepresented communities.

The $25,000 contribution from Rotten Tomatoes will fund travel and lodging costs for more than 50 reporters and freelance critics, including women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ and people with disabilities, who plan on attending the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. 

"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' critics 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."

At the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards on June 13, Brie Larson pointed out the lack of diversity in the film-criticism industry and announced that both Sundance and the Toronto Film Festival had made plans to make more press credentials available to underrepresented journalists at their upcoming events.

Rotten Tomatoes' decision to support Sundance's initiative is part of a wave of recent changes the website has made in an effort to be more inclusive, like adjusting criteria for its Tomatometer to prefer critics' individual accomplishments over their publication affiliations and including newer platforms, such as podcasts.