There’s a Hollywood saying that goes: “it’s not what you know,
but who you know.” The truth is, it’s actually a combination of the two.

That’s why the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge provides both an opportunity to hone your skills and interact with entertainment industry professionals. We’re proud to work with producers, writers, directors, casting directors and other crew members in two ways. Our Judges evaluate submissions to determine award winners and our Mentors meet with those winners to give advice on building a career in “the business.” Learn about past film challenge mentors here.

2024 Mentors

Tiffany Smith Anoa'i
Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i
Executive Vice President, Entertainment Diversity & Inclusion, West Coast, Paramount Global
Ivana Lombardi
Director of Film at Netflix
Karen Noble
Karen Noble
Senior Manager of Creative Talent & Content, Global Talent Development & Inclusion,
Universal Filmed Entertainment Group
Ryan O'Connell
Ryan O’Connell
Emmy®-nominated actor, writer and producer

2024 Judges

Nicole Castro
Nicole Castro
Managing Director, HollyShorts Film Festival
Kat Coiro
Kat Coiro
Director, She-Hulk, Marry Me
Jerome Core
Jerome Core
Head of US/WW DEIA Content, Amazon Studios
Jenni Gold
Jenni Gold
Director, CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion
Tim Gray
Tim Gray
Executive Vice President of the Golden Globes
Andraéa LaVant
Disability inclusion expert & Founder of LaVant Consulting Inc.
Jim LeBrecht director
Jim LeBrecht
Director, Crip Camp
Jillian Mercado
Actress, Model, and Activist
Col Needham headshot
Col Needham
Founder and CEO of IMDb
Allison Norlian
Allison Norlian
Journalist, Writer & Documentary Filmmaker
Sue Ann Pien
Actress, As We See It
Mark Povinelli
Mark Povinelli
Actor, President, Little People of America
Cara Reedy
Cara Reedy
Journalist and Producer
film critic richard propes
Richard Propes
Film Critic
Gil Robertson president of aafca
Gil Robertson
President of the African American Film Critics Association
Shaheem Sanchez
Actor, Choreographer, Deaf advocate
Lindzi Scarf
Lindzi Scharf
Writer, Producer & Founder of
nominations manager jennifer wilson
Jennifer Wilson
Nominations Manager, Film Independent
journalist stacey wilson hunt
Stacey Wilson Hunt
Entertainment Journalist
danny woodburn actor
Danny Woodburn
Veteran Character Actor