Coded Bias

Coded Bias is an American documentary film directed by Shalini Kantayya that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.[1]

Coded Bias
Film poster
Directed byShalini Kantayya
Release date
  • January 2020 (2020-01) (Sundance)
  • November 11, 2020 (2020-11-11)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film includes contributions from researchers Joy Buolamwini, Deborah Raji, Meredith Broussard, Cathy O’Neil, Zeynep Tufekci, Safiya Noble, Timnit Gebru, and Virginia Eubanks, among others.[2]


It follows researchers and advocates, principally MIT computer scientist and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League Joy Buolamwini, as they explore how algorithms encode and propagate bias.[3][4][5][6] The documentary touches on other other ethical issues in Big Tech, including surveillance through facial recognition, and the perils of computer-based judgement in human evaluation. Others featured include Weapons of Math Destruction author Cathy O'Neill and members of Big Brother Watch in London.[7]


The film first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020.[4] It was released in virtual cinemas across North America in November 2020.[8] On April 5, 2021, the documentary was made available to stream on Netflix.[9]


Critical responseEdit

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 100% based on 42 reviews with an average rating of 7.90/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Clear, concise, and comprehensive, Coded Bias offers a chilling look at largely unseen side effects of modern society's algorithmic underpinnings."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100 based on 7 critic reviews.[11]


Award Year Category Result Ref(s).
Calgary International Film Festival 2020 Best International Documentary Won [12]
Cinema Eye Honors Awards 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation Nominated [13]
Critics' Choice Documentary Awards 2020 Best Science/Nature Documentary Nominated [14]
Hamptons International Film Festival New York Women in Film & Television Award Won [15]
NAACP Image Awards 2021 Outstanding Documentary (Film) Nominated [16]
Sundance Film Festival 2020 US Documentary Grand Jury Prize Nominated [17]


  1. ^ Friday, Dana Kendall; January 31st; 2020. "Now Streaming: 'Coded Bias' Exposes Tech Made without Women and BIPOC in Mind". Retrieved 2020-12-05.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Documentary Review: Coded Bias". Society for Social Studies of Science. 2021-03-15. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  3. ^ Complex, Valerie (2020-02-13). "'Coded Bias': Film Review". Variety. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  4. ^ a b "When Bias Is Coded Into Our Technology". Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  5. ^ Girish, Devika (2020-11-11). "'Coded Bias' Review: When the Bots Are Racist". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  6. ^ Allen, Nick. "Coded Bias movie review & film summary (2020) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  7. ^ producer., Kantayya, Shalini, film director, film producer. Hoffman, Sabine, film, Coded bias, OCLC 1200171382, retrieved 2021-04-11
  8. ^ Trahan, Erin (18 November 2020). "Documentary 'Coded Bias' Unmasks The Racism Of Artificial Intelligence". WBUR. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  9. ^ Trenholm, Richard (31 March 2021). "Eye-opening documentary Coded Bias, streaming on Netflix April 5, faces racist technology". CNET. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Coded Bias (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  11. ^ "Coded Bias Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  12. ^ "Calgary International Film Festival 2020 – Coded Bias". Calgary International Film Festival. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Cinema Eye Unveils Full Slate of Nominees for 14th Annual Nonfiction Honors". Cinema Eye Honors. 10 December 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Critics Choice Documentary Awards | Critics Choice Awards". Critics Choice Awards. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  15. ^ Titcomb, Isabelle (15 October 2020). "Two WMM Filmmakers Receive Awards from NYWIFT at the Hamptons International Film Festival". Women Make Movies. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  16. ^ "2021 Nominees". NAACP Image Awards. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  17. ^ "Coded Bias". Sundance Institute. Retrieved 4 February 2021.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit