Success Stories

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge gives aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to tell creative stories and showcase disability in its many forms. The Challenge offers invaluable life-experiences, with many past winners going on to even greater career opportunities and success in entertainment, and in life.

Jamie Brewer

Jamie Brewer

Jamie Brewer was recognized as ‘Best Actor’ in the 2017 Film Challenge. Whitney’s Wedding has screened in many film festivals internationally, and Jamie recently attended the South Dakota Film Fest where the film received rave reviews and fans were pleased to get the opportunity to meet and take photos with her.  Perhaps best of all, the internet popularity of Whitney’s Wedding has added to Jamie’s fan base. Following her role in American Horror Story, Jamie is now excitedly anticipating a role in her Off-Broadway Debut, that she worked on with film challenge mentor Amy Brenneman.

    Dickie Hearts

    Dickie Hearts

    Dickie Hearts, a deaf filmmaker, won “Best Filmmaker Award” for his 2015 Film Challenge submission, Passengers. He went on to win the HBO Project Greenlight Digital Series Competition, as well as the AT&T Entertainment Project held at Warner Bros. Studio where he received a $20,000 prize.

      John Lawson

      John Lawson

      John Lawson’s Whitney’s Wedding earned the 2017 “Best Actress Award,” starring Jamie Brewer. This comedic love story has gone on to win “Best Film Award” at the Focus on Ability Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.

        David Harrell

        David Harrell

        David Harrell won “Best Film Award” for Lefty and Loosey at the 2016 Film Challenge. It has since been entered in numerous film festivals, including the New York Reel Abilities Festival and the Focus on Ability Festival in Sydney, Australia, where David won the “Best Actor Award.”

          Jenna Kanell

          Jenna Kanell

          Jenna Kanell won the 2015 Film Challenge’s “Best Film Award” for a film inspired by her brother who lives with Autism. Bumblebees has since played at more than 80 film festivals around the world, and was a “Judges’ Choice Winner” at the Focus on Ability Festival in Sydney, Australia. Jenna developed a popular TED talk about her experiences creating the film and shares what it has meant to her and her brother.