for the Disability Film Challenge, an annual weekend short film race April 1st-3rd.
Entrants are given 48 hours to make a three to five minute film based on assigned genre and each film must have either an actor, writer, director, producer, or crew member with a disability on their team. Sign up today and join in on this opportunity to bring awareness of the disability community through filmmaking and storytelling.
Short film entries must adhere to an assigned genre, props, and locations, that will be announced on April 1st. See below at the bottom of this festival listing for an example of last year's assignment.
Participants do not need to be disabled to enter the challenge, but must have someone who is disabled helping with production or acting in the short.
- Winner of "Best Filmmaker" will win a Dell tablet, a lunch and/or Skype meeting with legendary showrunner Shawn Ryan, who is best known for creating the groundbreaking series The Shield, and executive producing The Unit, Lie to Me, Last Resort, and Amazon's new hit series Mad Dogs. The winner will also have their film screened at the 11th annual Hollyshorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood in August 2016.
- Winner of "Best Actor" will win a lunch and/or Skype meeting with Pam Dixon, a casting director with over 30 years in the industry casting such titles as Green Lantern, The Mask of Zorrom and City Slickers. This will be her third year mentoring and in the past she has set up meetings between winners and agents.
- Winner of "Best Film" will win a Dell Workstation, a lunch and/or Skype meeting with Roy Ashton, Head of the TV Literary & Packaging Dept. at The Gersh Agency. Ashton functions in all areas of Television, helping clients sell shows and package projects at the major networks, major cable and premium cable outlets. Some of the shows he has been involved with are: CASTLE, GAME OF THRONES, BLUEBLOODS, THE KILLING, FALLING SKIES, THE MIDDLE, POWER, and many more. They will also have their film screened at the 11th annual Hollyshorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood in August 2016.
The winner of 3rd Annual Disability Film Challenge "Social Media Award" will receive a Dell tablet so that they can do their marketing on the go. The winner will also receive a mentor meeting with writer producer David Isaacs.
David Isaacs has worked as TV and Film Writer/Producers for over 40 years. Along with his writing partner Ken Levine he has written multiple episodes and served as Producer or Creative Consultant for series such as M*A*S*H*, Cheers, Wings, Frasier and Becker. He co-created the CBS series, Almost Perfect and served as Consulting Producer on Mad Men.
Isaacs has been nominated eight times for the Writers Guild of America Award and won twice for Cheers and once for Mad Men. He has six Emmy nominations with one win for co-producing the first season of Cheers.
David Isaacs has served as Professor of Screen and Television Writing in the USC School of Cinematic Arts since 2011.
*The lunch meetings and/or Skype meetings (if the winner is out of town) will come with no strings attached and will be strictly for advice. Mentors will not be able to accept any unsolicited materials.
Winning films will also screen at the TCL Chinese Theatre during the HollyShorts Film Festival and receive Dell Tablets and Dell Mobile Workstations.
Our recent mentors have included Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber 1& 2, There's Something About Mary), Erin O'Malley (Executive Producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm, The New Girl), Max Borenstein (writer of Godzilla, Skull Island, Minority Report) and casting director Pam Dixon (Mask of Zorro, City Slickers).
A message from the challenge's founder, Nic Novicki:
" I have been a working actor for thirteen years, on such shows as "Boardwalk Empire", "The Sopranos", and "Private Practice". As a disabled person myself, I rarely see disability present either in front of or behind the camera. As a producer, I realized that I have the power to change that. Since then, I have produced a multitude of projects and enlisted in the PGA.
I want this film challenge to empower disabled filmmakers, by taking their careers into their own hands with the support of seasoned veterans. Also creating a gateway for more exposure for people with disabilities in the media. "
The film challenge's purpose is to motivate disabled and non-disabled film makers to be proactive in the film industry and to supply them with a means of exposure for themselves and their projects.
-Testimony from Jenna Kannell, Winner Best Film, 2015 Disability Film Challenge:
"Entering the Disability Film Challenge changed my life. Though tough, it's fun and immeasurably worth the effort. I got to meet with an incredible mentor, and had the opportunity to watch my film "Bumblebees" in the legendary Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Winning the DFC inspired me to try what I never thought I was capable of. As of now, my film has been accepted into twenty four film festivals, won five awards, received three nominations and three honorable mentions, gained two distributors, and is being used in schools to facilitate dialogues on compassion and disabilities. The film brought me closer to my family and my brother, who the story is about, encouraging him to speak in front of crowds and inspire dozens of people. It took me all over the globe, and brought me to discover a love for filmmaking I didn't know I had; I couldn't be more grateful. Even if we hadn't won, the experience alone of making a film in 48 hours is incomparable. The competition encourages the representation of a population often ignored by popular culture, honoring storytelling, equality, and empathy at a time when our society deeply needs it. The Disability Film Challenge is absolutely amazing."
-Testimony from Steve Way, Winner Best Actor, 2015 Disability Film Challenge
"Words can’t describe how much fun I had participating in the 48 Hour Disability Film Challenge. While I had a great experience, it’s also an important and necessary outlet for people with disabilities to showcase their skills and to be recognized for them."
-Testimony from Stephen and Lori Saux, Winners Social Media Award, 2015
"Thank you for the Disability Film Challenge. It was a great weekend. Stephen and I pushed ourselves and were able to see what we could do with 48 hours, 2 iPhones, a laptop, two kids, and no babysitter."
-Testimony from Rachel Handler, Winner Best Actor, 2014 Disability Film Challenge:
"This film challenge was the perfect opportunity to create my first short film. The time limits pushed me to write and finish a script. Winning the best actor award gave me the chance to meet with a casting director in LA, which lead to landing my first agent in Hollywood!"
An example of the 2015 Disability Film Challenge Assignment:
Last year the assigned genre was "Romantic Comedy" and props included items such as "balloon", "hairbrush", etc... Location options were settings such as "The Park", "The Beach", "In a Home", etc... This is not the genre, assigned props, or location options for this year's challenge, but merely an example of what types of rules to expect to be announced on April 1st.
Special Note* -You can replace your link or uploaded footage in your FilmFreeway entry after you have completed your film.