The 2022 Disability Film Easter Challenge Awards Winners

Sommer Carbuccia’s time-travel short comedy “Mac & Cheese” won Best Film at the 2022 Easterseals Disability Film Awards. “Mac & Cheese” took home a total of three awards at the annual event, with Amanda winning Pinto Best Director and Jake Nathanson Best Editor.

The party returned in person for the first time in two years Thursday evening at Sony Pictures Studios’ Cary Grant Theater in Los Angeles. Kristen Belang and Liz Whitmer won a writing award for their work on “Superhero Inc.” “Seven” star Natalie Tryvon was hailed as Best Actor.

“ILY” Jennifer Montzingo, which focused on a group of disabled actresses, won a nod for best awareness campaign. At the start of the awards presentation, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group President Josh Greenstein gave opening remarks and presented the challenge founder, Nick Nowicki.

Presenters include “Sound of the Metal” star Paul Rassi, “As We See It” actors Rick Glassman, Sue Ann Pien, Albert Rutecki, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, and show actor Max Borenstein. “This is Us” actor Blake Stadnik, “Special” creator Ryan O’Connell, and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Launched by Novicki in 2014, the 2022 edition of the challenge has a record-breaking 95 orders from the United States and other countries around the world. Filmmakers who enter the competition are given five days to complete a short film, within a certain genre, that showcases the disability.

This year, the “Superheroes” genre is dedicated to the participating teams. In an interview with diverse Prior to the awards ceremony, Nowicki praised the nominated films and expressed his pleasure to hold the awards ceremony in person.

“Superhero” [isn’t] Exactly the easiest thing to do in five days but [there are] Incredible movies all culminating here tonight,” he said. “I am so excited. We have virtual award ceremonies, but this is our first real in-person award ceremony and it’s very exciting.”

Nowicki added, “This is probably one of the best days of my life. I just have a daughter, so don’t tell my wife about it.”

The challenge jury consisted of influential figures in the entertainment industry including journalist Alison Norlian, comedian Danny Woodburn and African American Film Critics Association President Jill Robertson.

Winners receive $2,000 in grants from NBCUniversal, Dell Computers Technologies, one-year IMDb Pro membership, one-year Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions, one-year membership to Film Independent and screenings of their films at Oscar-eligible festivals.

In addition, the winning films will be featured in the video playlist on IMDb’s homepage. Mentoring meetings are also provided for filmmakers with executives and talents in the entertainment industry. This year, mentors include Lord, Miller and Tiffany Smith-Annoy, Executive Vice President of Paramount Entertainment Diversity and Inclusion, West Coast.

Peter Farrelly, who served as mentor to the Challenge’s second year winners, joined Nowicki on the red carpet ahead of the event. Nowicki said diverse, “Peter and his brother Bobby are really pioneers. They are the first people to actually do big projects that have given rise to people with disabilities.”

Farley said diverse“I couldn’t believe how much talent was leaking out during this festival. You see a lot of talent you’ll never see. When he says we hire people with disabilities, we open the door for people with disabilities. We look at people with disabilities. If they’re good, we hire them.” And they’re a lot of good, so we’ve hired several of them and that’s all we’re trying to do is have a level playing field.”

Farrelly and Novici said diverse They were thrilled to see “CODA” win Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards.

“I think the entire disability community was just screaming,” Nowicki said. “We all felt like we were there.”

Award sponsors include Adobe, Dell Technologies, Intel, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Prime Video, IMDbPro, Sony Pictures Entertainment, HFPA, SAG-AFTRA, Microsoft Teams and Warner Bros. Discovery.

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