Stars Turn Out to Support Diversity in Hollywood as 2018 Easterseals Film Challenge Winners are Announced

Stars Turn Out to Support Diversity in Hollywood as 2018 Easterseals Film Challenge Winners are Announced

Special Guests Include Marcia Gay Harden, Shoshannah Stern + Kurt Yaeger

BEVERLY HILLS — May 11, 2018 — Winners of the fifth annual Easterseals Disability Film Challenge were announced last night at a star-studded red-carpet event, film screening and awards ceremony hosted by leading global talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) in Beverly Hills.

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. Held April 13-15, filmmakers were given a span of 55 hours to write and produce a short film (three-to-five minutes) using this year’s genre, “buddy comedy.”  Films must include a person with a disability either in front of or behind the camera and are judged by a panel of noted and diverse entertainment industry professionals. Top prizes include mentorships with industry leaders; cash grants; film festival screening opportunities; and other awards.

Special guests/presenters for the evening included Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden (Code Black), Shoshannah Stern (Supernatural, Weeds, Jericho), Kurt Yaeger (Personal Space, NCIS: Los Angeles, Sons of Anarchy) and Patrika Darbo (The Bold and the Beautiful), as well as Easterseals Disability Film Challenge finalists, selected from among a record-setting number of submissions, spanning 12 countries. Emceeing the event is Film Challenge founder, Easterseals Southern California Boardmember, actor/comedian Nic Novicki (Boardwalk Empire, Gotham Comedy Live).

WINNERS:

Check Mate (Carl Hansen) for Best Film;

Day Danniells (Hit On) for Best Filmmaker;

J.B. Abajian (Visibility) for Best Actor; and

Footloose (David Tenenbaum) for Best Awareness Campaign.

You can see photos from the event here and watch all of the winning films here!

Check out coverage of the event provided by KTLA, Variety, and KCBS!

Thank you to all participants, sponsors and other supporters for making the 2018 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge the best yet! We can’t wait for 2019!

Photo Credit:  Reggie Ige