Sundance Film Festival Court judges Marley Matlin, Jeremy O’Harris and Eliza Hittman walked out of the world premiere of the magazine Dreams in Park City, Utah on Friday night after Marley’s closed captioning device malfunctioned. The boxing drama, starring Jonathan Majors, was screened in the American Drama Competition section of the festival. The device was fixed a few hours later and the festival reported that the judges would screen the film again before closing on January 29. (Also read: Magazine Dreams Review: Elijah Bynum’s powerful character study is a fiery blend of Travis Bickle and Jake LaMotta.)
Directed by Elijah Bynum, Magazine Dreams revolves around the character of Jonathan, a black bodybuilder with self-destructive traits. The actor has already received appreciation for his performance and commitment to the role.
In a statement shared with The Associated Press, Sundance Institute CEO Joanna Vicente said Saturday, “Our team immediately worked with the equipment on site to prepare them for the next screening. Tested again and the device worked flawlessly. All experiences (in person and online) as accessible as possible to all participants. Our accessibility efforts, admittedly, are always evolving and Feedback helps drive it forward for the community as a whole.”
“We are committed to improving and connecting with all festival-goers’ experiences,” the statement continued. “We see accessibility as one of the primary drivers of institutional excellence and this is done in partnership with film teams.”
Joanna shared that the captioning device, which works over Wi-Fi, was tested before the screening, but it malfunctioned during the screening. The film will be screened again for the judges before the festival ends.
Marley, who lost her hearing as a toddler, has yet to comment on the incident. She won an Oscar for Best Actress for her debut performance in Children of a Leisure God (1986). He also starred in the upcoming drama CODA last year, which also won the Oscar for Best Picture.
A Hindustan Times review of Magazine Dreams said, “Bynum, who also wrote Magazine Dreams, creates an intensely intense character study that is almost unbearably difficult to watch at times. As Maddox’s obsession It takes hold. The final 20 minutes become particularly painful to sit through — as Bynum dares the audience to leave her side.”