Customer Spotlight

Making a Film Festival Accessible

In a Nutshell

Established in 2006, the Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF) has been showcasing short and feature-length films on environmental topics for 17 years. With entries from filmmakers of all ages and from all over the globe, the festival is a celebration of the power of film to inspire, educate, and motivate audiences to protect and preserve the environment.

The Challenge

With nearly 100 films in the program, and both online and in-person components to the festival, the event organizers knew they wanted to increase the event’s accessibility with captioning and audio description. And it was important that they find an accessibility partner who could work with them – and their filmmakers – to make the process as smooth as possible.

“We offered closed captions to those who didn’t have it already submitted to us and split the cost with the filmmakers who wanted it. It was well-received, and I think the filmmakers who took us up on it really appreciated it.”

Nicole Bickford, Festival Director

The Solution

Film Festival Director Nicole Bickford turned to VITAC to provide captioning and, for the first time in their film festival’s history, audio description.

“It really gave us an opportunity to learn more about how the audio description process works and how to make films more accessible in general,” Bickford says.


  • High-quality captions and audio description that expand the festival’s accessibility and reach and deliver their messages to a greater audience.
  • Friendly and dedicated professionals who can offer troubleshooting and guidance on implementing accessibility features.
  • Peace of mind with fast turnaround times and the guarantee to provide quality work.

The Results

On Building Accessibility into a Film Festival

Delving into accessibility brought lessons not only on providing captions or audio description but publicizing that access as well. Making sure that audiences know about accessibility options and how to access them is a key component.

Says Bickford, “I’ve heard from audience members who are deaf say that if we don’t explicitly publicize that a film has captions, people will assume it doesn’t and they will assume it’s not for them. So we worked really hard to ensure that all our marketing was done in a way that made it clear the films that had captions.”


On Working With VITAC

“Overall, I thought things went really smoothly and really well,” says Bickford of working with VITAC. “It’s a fairly intuitive program.”

The smooth process and customer support also enabled better coordination of a project with multiple films coming from multiple filmmakers. “The support was great, and I loved the turnaround time.”

“I think we’re leaning towards requiring captions for any film that is accepted into our festival for next year. Just saying from the get-go that we want all of our films to be offered with the captioned option. And if they don’t have them, we now know we can provide them the support to get them captioned.”

Nicole Bickford, Festival Director

The Colorado Environmental Film Festival

The Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF) presents thought-provoking films and dialogue that raise awareness of a wide variety of interconnected ecological, social, and economic themes. The festival provides an experience for the audience that goes beyond passive film viewing and inspires audiences through films to make a difference in their communities. CEFF helps audiences build the knowledge and skills they need to make environmentally responsible choices and make a difference in their environment!

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