Easterseals Southern California has announced finalists for the 2021 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge: Home Edition 2.0.

Created in 2013 by Nic Novicki, the challenge gives filmmakers the opportunity to create short films that showcase disabilities in its many forms. The week-long filmmaking contest received a record number of submissions, with 93 from across the globe. Winners will be announced during a virtual awards ceremony on May 6 on the organization’s website.

Here is the list of finalists:

Awareness Award:

Couples Therapy – Melanie Rivera Waldman

The Roommates – Jennifer Msumba

So You Wanna Be an Actor – Rachel Handler

Social Fitness – Anna Pakman

Editor Award:

Archaic Intergalactic Extraterrestrials – Matthew Placencia

Breaking Cody – Victoria Elena Nones & Nathaniël Siri

The Home Office (The Making of Cartoon HR) – Dani Bowman

Superheroes – Grace Kelly

Actor Award:

Breaking Cody – Cody LaScala

Dwarfo-psychosis – Pancho Moler

Extra Special – Andy Arias

Nay Nay Too Bomb – Natalie Trevonne


Dwarfo-psychosis – Maria DiDomenico

Extra Special – Luke Terrell

Lights Out and Away We Go – Veerle Ackersteff

Nay Nay Too Bomb – Marie Alyse Rodriguez


Breaking Cody – Cody LaScala

Dwarfo-psychosis – Emily Pascal

Extra Special – Luke Terrell

Nay Nay Too Bomb – Marie Alyse Rodriguez

Winners will receive an array of prizes such as access to entertainment professionals, $1,500 grants provided by NBCUniversal and a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. In addition to having their films highlighted in a video playlist on the homepage of IMDb, films will screen at numerous Academy Award-qualifying festivals, including the Heartland Film Festival, HollyShorts Film Festival, Bentonville Film Festival and NewFilmmakers LA.

The films were judged by individuals within the entertainment industry, including Variety’s Marc Malkin, Jim LeBrecht (director, “Crip Camp”), Lawrence Carter-Long (film critic), Nicole Castro (managing director, HollyShorts Film Festival), Kat Coiro (director, “She-Hulk,” “Marry Me”), Jenni Gold (director, “CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion”), Brett Greenstein (Greenstein/Daniel Casting), Sheri Linden (The Hollywood Reporter), Jillian Mercado (model-actor, “The L Word: Generation Q”), Col Needham (IMDb founder and CEO), Mark Povaneli (actor, president, Little People of America), Richard Propes (film critic), Gil Robertson (president of the African American Film Critics Association), Lolo Spencer (actor), Stephanie Thomas (stylist), Mara Webster (co-founder & head of programming, In Creative Company), Jennifer Wilson (nominations manager, Film Independent), Stacey Wilson Hunt (entertainment journalist) and Danny Woodburn (actor).

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is made possible through support from Adobe, Dell Technologies, IMDbPro, Intel, Comcast NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sundance Institute, ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia and others.