Rotten Tomatoes Expands Outreach and Critics Grants Program, Beginning at TIFF 2022

Rotten Tomatoes, the go-to resource for ratings, has certified fresh news: The Critics Outreach and Grant Program is being expanded to include more aspiring filmmakers and writers.

Since its inception in 2018, Rotten Tomatoes’ Critics Outreach and Grants Program has helped more than 600 emerging entertainment critics pursue their academic and professional goals.

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“According to a recent survey we conducted of 350 Tomatometer-approved reviewers, 92% say the cost of travel and accommodation still prohibits them from attending key festivals and conventions,” said Jenny Jediny, Director of Rotten Tomatoes’ critical engagement. “Supporting festival inclusion programs remains an important part of Rotten Tomatoes’ critic outreach and grantmaking program and we’re excited to expand our mentorship initiatives and scholarships for aspiring critics of bands under -represented.”

Beginning with TIFF 2022, Rotten Tomatoes will add more support for inclusion initiatives from major film festivals, fellowships for regional critics groups, and mentorship programs for aspiring critics from underrepresented groups. Rotten Tomatoes also renewed its donation to the 2022 TIFF Media Inclusion Initiative, which provides financial support to accredited press from underrepresented groups. Since launching TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative also in 2018, Rotten Tomatoes has contributed over $100,000 to the program.

Overall to date, Rotten Tomatoes has donated over $350,000 to festival inclusion programs, college scholarships and more, helping over 600 aspiring critics from underrepresented groups pursue their national academic and professional goals.

Rotten Tomatoes found that critics face three key challenges: finding new opportunities as members of a marginalized community, making film and television criticism a full-time profession, and maintaining a balance between professional and private life. Within the industry itself, survey participants cited a lack of access to screenings, a need for more diversity and inclusions within the reviewer community, and continued adoption of events. and hybrid and virtual festivals mandated by COVID due to travel costs.

Additionally, among critics of underrepresented groups who were surveyed, 76% said they were more often invited to screenings when a movie or series had a specific relationship with their group.

And Rotten Tomatoes’ efforts don’t stop at TIFF 2022: Rotten Tomatoes also announced today that it will be renewing its support for the 2022 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Ruth Batchelor Fellowship, which benefits film critics in grass of underrepresented groups in Los Angeles. Region. In Chicago, Rotten Tomatoes recently launched the Emerging Critics Grant Program with the Chicago Film Critics Association, designed to support a variety of aspiring critics in the area.

Rotten Tomatoes continues to elevate diverse critical voices by adding new Tomatometer-approved reviews to its world-renowned entertainment rating system. Each year, Rotten Tomatoes receives hundreds of applications for the Tomatometer exam and evaluates potential candidates against a set of criteria. The criteria was updated in 2018 to place more emphasis on each reviewer’s individual credentials rather than their outlet, allowing for a broader and more diverse pool of reviewer perspectives to be included in the Tomatometer.

Of the more than 100 new reviewers Rotten Tomatoes has added to its Tomatometer review pool in the past year, 74% are from underrepresented groups, 48% are women, 38% are people of color, 76% are freelancers and 34% are new media platforms, including YouTube, podcasts and broadcasting.

Since 2021, Rotten Tomatoes has launched RT Labs, a free online educational resource platform designed to support budding critics with recorded expert panels, interviews, how-to guides, and more, expanding its educational programs and mentoring. As part of Rotten Tomatoes’ ongoing educational efforts, the brand last month hosted a panel discussion titled “Launch Your Career in Film and Television Criticism” at the Asian American Journalists Association National Convention. The panel included professional critics providing advice to early-career journalists and students seeking opportunities in film and television criticism.

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