Over the weekend, 2018 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge participants attended the HollyShorts Film Festival to see their films screened during the “Family Films” Block. Easterseals Disability Film Challenge winning films received an automatic entry into Hollyshorts, which is an official Academy Award qualifying Film Festival, as one of their challenge prizes. Winning filmmakers were invited to speak about their experience creating their films following the screening.

New to the festival lineup this year was a panel discussion titled “Disability is the ‘D’ in Diversity, held at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

The conversation explored the status of people with disabilities working in entertainment today, and the initiatives that are tackling underrepresentation in the industry, and featured an all-star group of panelists.

Panel Moderator:

  • Tim Gray- Awards Editor and Senior Vice President, Variety


  • Nic Novicki – Founder, Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
  • Pam Dixon- Casting Director (“City Slickers”, “Angels in the Outfield”)
  • Karim Ahmad- Director, Outreach & Inclusion, Sundance Institute
  • Hasan Foster- Senior Manager, Inclusion and Discourse, LA Film Festival
  • Kaitlyn Yang- Visual Effects Supervisor and Founder, Alpha Studios

Every year, HollyShorts provides an incredible opportunity to our film challenge participants to have their films screened at a high-profile festival. We loved having our friends join us for an exciting panel this year, and we can’t wait to return to HollyShorts in 2019!