Rotten Tomatoes Joins Sundance Institute’s Press Inclusion Initiative

Initiative grants stipends to freelance critics and journalists attending the 2019 festival

Rotten Tomatoes has joined Sundance Institute’s new Press Inclusion Initiative, which grants stipends to freelance journalists and critics attending the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Rotten Tomatoes’ $25,000 contribution to the initiative is part of the company’s $100,000 grant program, which was set up earlier this year to help critics gain access to film festivals. The first grant of $25,000 was given to the American Friends of TIFF fund for the Toronto International Film Festival. Rotten Tomatoes will continue to provide grants to organizations that help critics with costly travel expenses heading to festivals over the next year.

“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 critic 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.”

Earlier this year, the Sundance Institute committed to allocating 20 percent of press credentials to critics from underrepresented communities.

In August, Rotten Tomatoes announced it would adjust its critics criteria for its Tomatometer rating system, allowing for a wider and more diverse pool of critics. The new criteria also includes newer media platforms. Since its launch, there have been 350 new Tomatometer-approved critics.

The Sundance Film Festival will take place January 24 through February 3 in Park City, Utah.