‘Parents Inc.’ Wins Top Prize at Easterseals Disability Film Challenge

Variety | 5/9/2019 | Tim Gray
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Amy Hopper’s “Parents Inc.” took honors for best film at the sixth annual Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Thursday night, in ceremonies held at the Sony Pictures lot.

Other winners were Carl Hansen, director for “I/O”; Nicole Evans, best actor for “Human Helper”; and “The Vanished,” which took home the awareness award, accepted by Melanie Waldman.

Program - Nic - Novicki - Film - Challenge

The program was hosted by Nic Novicki, who founded the Film Challenge to empower filmmakers (with or without disabilities) to tell unique stories while providing opportunities for inclusion and representation for people with disabilities (or PWD). Novicki reminded the enthusiastic audience that PWD represent about 20% of the population, but only account for 3% of onscreen depictions.

Participating teams had 55 hours to write, shoot and edit a three-to-five-minute short based on an assigned genre. This year, the genre was sci-fi. Their productions were created on the weekend of April 5-7, with more than 200 people with disabilities participated in front of and/or behind the camera. This year saw 71 entries from three countries (U.S., U.K. and Canada), a 22% increase in submissions from the prior year.

Winners - Mentorship - Opportunity - Producer - President

Winners will receive a mentorship opportunity with producer and president of SK Global John Penotti (“Crazy Rich Asians”), CBS Entertainment’s Tiffany Smith Anoa’i , writer-director-producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Oscar winners this year for“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”), or Pam Dixon, casting director (“Angels in the Outfield,” “City Slickers”). Other prizes include the latest in computer technology from Dell, the opportunity to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival, a $2,000 production grant provided by Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and a Sony a6400L camera kit.

Among the presenters were Lord and Miller; writer-producer Ryan O’Connell; CBS’s Smith Anoa’i; NBCUniversal’s Jeff Cafuir; and actors Micah Fowler, Geri Jewel, and CJ Jones.

Easterseals - Southern - California - Mark - Whitley

Easterseals Southern California president-CEO Mark Whitley pointed out to the audience of 200-plus...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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