The finalists of the 2018 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge were announced and screened at a live event earlier today at the Bentonville Film Festival.

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.

On May 10, the nominated cast and crew members will participate in a special panel discussion hosted by agents from United Talent Agency (UTA), a leading talent and literacy agency representing many of the world’s top actors, writers, directors, producers and recording artists. Winners will be announced at a red carpet event later that evening at UTA’s headquarters in Beverly Hills.

Watch the live announcement!

SCREENED AT BENTONVILLE: Ain’t WokeBest EnemiesCheck MateCommittedFootlooseGia and DragonHit OnJordan’s CakeLimited SpaceRivals or FriendsThe #1 FanUncommon GroundVisibilityWoody’s Beans


BEST FILM: Best Enemies (Emily Hopper), Check Mate (Carl Hansen), Committed (Rachel Handler), Visibility (Scott Rosendall)

BEST FILMMAKER: Cory Reeder (Ain’t Woke), Day Daniells (Hit On), Keenan O’Reilly (Visibility), Joel Blacker (Woody’s Beans)

BEST ACTOREric Graise (Limited Space), Tamara Mena (Rivals or Friends), Dennis “Scooby” Willoughby (The #1 Fan), J.B. Abajian (Visibility)

BEST AWARENESS CAMPAIGN: Footloose (David Tenenbaum), Gia and Dragon (John Lawson), Jordan’s Cake (Shanalyna Palmer), Uncommon Ground (Lori Saux)