VITAC Providing Captions for Colorado Environmental Film Festival

Feb 15 2023 VITAC
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VITAC is proud to be among the sponsors of the Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF) and help make this year’s impressive lineup of films more accessible to all audiences.

Now in its 17th year, CEFF showcases short and feature-length films on environmental topics by filmmakers of all ages from all over the world. The festival celebrates the power of film to inspire, educate, and motivate people to protect and preserve the environment.

The festival will be held in-person from Feb. 23-26 at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, CO, and virtually (online) from Feb. 27 to March 5.

VITAC worked with festival organizers to provide captions for filmmakers who wanted to include them in their work. Nicole Bickford, Festival Director, said that although many of the films submitted already included captions, other filmmakers were excited to take advantage of the offering.

“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,” she says. “It was well-received, and I think the filmmakers who took us up on it really appreciated it.”

We also provided audio description ─ a narrative description of onscreen actions, text, and visual cues such as characters and costumes ─ for some of the festival’s content as a way to not only showcase the level of accessibility it creates but also to educate filmmakers on how seamlessly the descriptive track fits within a video.

The video below highlights an example of VITAC audio description in filmmaker Chad Weber’s “Bluebird Sky” (https://www.cwebervideo.com/).

This year’s festival boasts a lineup of nearly 100 films, with more than 70 of those featuring some level of accessibility in the form of open captions, closed captions, subtitles, or films with no dialogue at all. By comparison, last year’s festival had a little more than 20 films that featured captions.

This year’s captioned films will be available and highlighted during the virtual portion of the festival. Due to technology issues, CEFF’s in-person festival will not be able to offer films with captions this year.

A listing of the festival’s on-demand catalog of films can be found at https://watch.eventive.org/ceff2023. The virtual catalog is organized by curated collections, including more than a dozen collections of films which feature captioning.

Bickford says that captions and greater accessibility is a goal of the festival moving forward.

“Our goal that we’re moving toward is that filmmakers can submit their films without captions but, if they are accepted, we’re going to ask for the caption file,” she said. “And if they can’t or don’t know how to do it, we’ll work with them to help them get there and educate them on how to provide that.”

For more details and ticket information, visit the Colorado Environmental Film Festival’s events page.