The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge gives filmmakers—with and without disabilities—the opportunity to collaborate to tell unique stories that showcase disability in its many forms.

The film challenge is a weekend-long filmmaking contest, open to all, that provides a platform for new voices in the entertainment industry. Each year, aspiring storytellers are prompted to creatively write, produce and complete a short film. Challenge winners receive invaluable access to entertainment professionals, opening the door to an industry notoriously difficult to enter.


Actor Nic Novicki launched the Disability Film Challenge in 2014 in response to seeing disabilities underrepresented both in front of and behind the camera. As someone with a disability, Nic created the challenge to give aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their work and provide them with meaningful exposure.

In 2017, Nic and Easterseals Southern California joined forces to expand the challenge, now known as the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. As the leading nonprofit supporting people with disabilities, Easterseals brings additional attention to the challenge, using its numerous communications channels to encourage participation.

Since the challenge launched, aspiring filmmakers from around the world have created more than 150 films, which have been viewed online and at festivals including the HollyShorts Film Festival.

Nic Novicki is an actor, comedian and producer who has performed on six continents. He attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

His television credits include: Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Gotham Comedy Live, Jack and Triumph, The Neighbors, Austin and Alley, Private Practice and Drop Dead Diva. He has appeared in several movies, such as Life Happens, November Rule, The Last 5 Years, Boston Girls and Breaking Wind and will soon be seen in the upcoming Dead Ant.

Nic has produced several feature films, television pilots and web series for companies including Sony, CBS, Air China, Maxim and Universal and is an active member in the Producers Guild of America’s Diversity Committee. Nic wrote for the CBS Diversity Showcase and has also written and directed several short films including “A Little Broke” which was acquired by the TV station Shorts HD.

As a stand up comedian, Nic has toured all over the world, including several tours for the troops overseas through USO and Armed Forces Entertainment. He has performed stand up on Gotham Comedy Live.

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Easterseals is the indispensable resource for people and families living with disabilities. We’re changing the way the world defines and views disability by making a profound, positive difference in people’s lives – something we’ve been doing for nearly 100 years. Easterseals offers a variety of services to help people address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals. Our services empower individuals to live, learn, work and play in our communities. Learn more at easterseals.com/southerncal.