Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Ryan O’Connell to Present at 2022 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Awards

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The 2022 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Awards announced presenters for this year’s ceremony, including “Special” creator Ryan O’Connell and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The awards will be held on May 5 at Sony Pictures Studios’ Cary Grant Theater in Los Angeles.

Additional presenters include Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”), Max Borenstein (“Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty”), Blake Stadnik (“This is Us”) and “As We See It” actors Rick Glassman, Sue Ann Pien and Albert Rutecki.

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Launched in 2014 and created by Nic Novicki, the film challenge gives filmmakers the chance to write, produce and complete short films that tell unique stories showcasing disability in many forms. Submissions can come from filmmakers with or without disabilities, and this year’s challenge saw a record-breaking submission of 95 films from around the world.

The finalists will be announced on April 29, with four competitors to move forward in each of the following categories: film, presented by Warner Bros. Discovery; director, presented by NBCUniversal; editor, presented by Adobe; actor, presented by IMDbPro; writer, presented by Netflix; and the awareness campaign award, presented by Amazon Prime Video.

This year’s panel of judges includes journalist Allison Norlian, actor Danny Woodburn, African American Film Critics Association president Gil Robertson, director Jenni Gold, Film Independent nominations manager Jennifer Wilson, filmmaker Jim LeBrecht, director Kat Coiro, journalist Lindzi Scharf, actor Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, director of communications at Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Lawrence Carter-Long, producer Mara Webster, president of Little People of America Mark Povinelli, Nicole Castro, People editor Nigel Smith, journalist Richard Propes, journalist Stacey Wilson Hunt and author Stephanie Thomas, along with of IMDb CEO Col Needham and Jacqueline Lyanga, head of diversity, equity and inclusion for IMDb.

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is made possible by support from Adobe, Dell Technologies, Intel, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Prime Video, IMDbPro, Sony Pictures Entertainment, HFPA, SAG-AFTRA, Microsoft Teams and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Winners of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge will receive $2,000 grants provided by NBCUniversal, Dell Technologies computers, a one-year membership to IMDbPro and promotion of their film on the IMDb homepage, a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, screenings at various Academy Award-qualifying festivals, a one-year membership to Film Independent and mentorship meetings with entertainment industry executives and talent.

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