Accessible Cinema: Captions and More at BMFI

January 23, 2023


Media Contact: Gina Izzo, Director of Marketing and Membership, 856-524-1341,

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Accessible Cinema: Captions and More at BMFI

Bryn Mawr, PA – Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI) is committed to presenting accessible cinema experiences for all movie-lovers, including the D/deaf and hard of hearing, visually impaired, physically disabled, and caregivers of all kinds.  

This weekend shined a negative spotlight on the Sundance Film Festival after jurors walked out of the Magazine Dreams premiere when festival organizers could not provide a functioning caption device for juror Marlee Matlin. This incident has sparked a national conversation about open captions, closed captions, and other features to support accessibility in the cinema. BMFI offers open caption screenings weekly, as well as a host of supportive viewing devices for those who need them.

It is important to note that while exhibitors like BMFI are responsible for utilizing features like open captions and providing accessibility technology to patrons, studios and distributors are responsible for providing the content such as captions and audio descriptive tracks. Not all film DCPs (Digital Cinema Packages, the standard format for exhibiting films in theaters) come loaded with these features. Providing equitable and accessible cinema experiences requires a partnership between the studios and distributors that offer the films and the theaters and festivals that present them.

BMFI is committed to supporting our entire community, including those who are D/deaf and hard of hearing, visually impaired, physically disabled, and caregivers of all kinds. Using assistive technology, customized theater experiences, and architectural infrastructure, BMFI welcomes all of its neighbors, and continues to strive for the best cinema experience for all.

About Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI) is a nonprofit, member-supported motion picture theater and film education center located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. BMFI is dedicated to promoting shared experiences that entertain, engage, and educate audiences through a diverse range of independent-minded films, a full curriculum of courses, and an extensive program of special events. BMFI was established in 2005 and has since become one of the nation’s largest and most successful art house theaters.