Thank you for supporting the 2017 film challenge!


Why Have a Challenge?

Spotlights against a white background


The unique stories of people living with disabilities are too often untold, as this population is sometimes underrepresented in the entertainment industry. For example, while more than 18% of Americans have disabilities, only 2.4% of all speaking characters were depicted with a disability in the top 100 films of 2015.*

Filming crew of three people shooting two women talking


The film challenge addresses this underrepresentation by empowering filmmakers, actors, and other creators–with and without disabilities–to take their careers into their own hands. This challenge gives them the platform to use creative storytelling, share their diverse perspectives on screen and gain the opportunity to network with Hollywood professionals.

Film director watches the monitor as the take is being shot.


With more than 56 million Americans with disabilities, the challenge aims to raise awareness about this community in Hollywood’s ongoing diversity conversation. By seeing their aspirational stories reflected on screen, these films inspire people to join the conversation and expand the audience’s understanding of disability today.

*Inequality in 800 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT, and Disability from 2007-2015; by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, and Dr. Katherine Pieper


  • 2017 Mentor Meeting: Cory Reeder and Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i

    As part of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, the winning filmmakers are awarded mentorship meetings with active members…

    Read more
  • 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Winners

    We are proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge! Best Film Cory Reeder  —…

    Read more
  • 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Finalists

    The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is proud to announce this year’s finalists. The competition was stiff; talented filmmakers,…

    Read more