2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Finalists

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, actors and crewmembers from around the world produced compelling short films that showcased disability in its many forms. With only a weekend to create their films, all participants should be proud of the work produced.

Each film gives everyone involved an opportunity to showcase their talents to Hollywood insiders, as well as anyone with an Internet connection. By seeing these stories play out on screen, we hope new audiences will feel inspired to join the conversation around disability today, and advocate for diversity in storytelling.

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is proud to present awards in four categories: Best Awareness Campaign, Best Actor, Best Filmmaker, Best Film. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, May 18th at the Ahrya Fine Arts Laemmle Theater.

Congrats to our 2017 finalists! In no particular order:

Best Awareness Campaign

The Best Awareness Campaign award is presented to the leading producer for the team that raises the most awareness for their film through marketing strategies. Judges will review the YouTube videos for number of overall views, shares, likes, and press coverage.

The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with the Executive Vice President of Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion and Communications at CBS Entertainment, Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i.

Finalists

John Lawson, “Whitney’s Wedding”

Cory Reeder, “Best Friend”

Brian Hagy, “Family Time”

Bryan Anderson, “Head Over Wheels”

Best Actor

The Best Actor award is presented to the actor with the most memorable performance. Judges consider the complexity of the character and the actor’s ability to take on this challenging role.

The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with actress, writer, producer, and activist Amy Brenneman, one Dell 2-in-1 computer and a spot to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres.

Finalists

Marilee Tarkington, “Sisterly Love”

Robert Romani, “Living Hell” 

Jamie Brewer, “Whitney’s Wedding”

Gitane Neil, “Best Friend”

Best Filmmaker

The Best Filmmaker award is presented to the director of the film with the most outstanding direction of acting, cinematography and storytelling. Judges base their decision on the director’s ability to evoke emotions in specific scenes as well as surrounding the overall film as appropriate.

The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with actor, writer, and director Randall Park, one Dell 2-in-1 computer and a spot to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres.

Finalists

Ismael Lotz, “Found”

Jonathan Johnson, “Siblings Liebencrantz

Cory Reeder, “Best Friend”

Hel Gebreamlak, “Relationship Demons”

Best Film

The Best Film award is presented to the leading producer based on the film’s incorporation of the required elements (theme, props and locations), production quality and plotline. Judges evaluate the film on its creative storytelling and performances from all onscreen talent.

The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with Speechless creator Scott Silveri, one Dell mobile workstation and a spot to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres.

Finalists

David Harrell, “Siblings Liebencrantz”

Cory Reeder, “Best Friend”

Marilee Tarkington, “Sisterly Love”

John Lawson, “Whitney’s Wedding”