Fishers resident helps team in Disability Film Challenge

A Zoom collage of participants of the team from Indianapolis competing in the Disability Film Challenge. (Photo courtesy of Allison Friedman)

By Ken Severson

Movie making isn’t only for Hollywood filmmakers.

A local team of deaf filmmakers from Indianapolis is participating in the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge for the consecutive year.

One of the producers, Fishers resident Allison Friedman, was a finalist last year in the category of Best Public Awareness Campaign. She and her team are hoping for a repeat as a finalist.

“Our film challenge begins (soon), then we will have to wait until the films upload to all social media outlets,” Friedman said. “We will begin the awareness campaign, which runs from April 13-21, so we will need support to spread our disability film to get more attention in Indiana.”

Besides Friedman, the other members on the movie team are Sarah Margolis-Greenbaum, Aaron Margolis-Greenbaum, Cullen Shade, Rydrea Walker, Justin Perez and Carlina Fucarino.

Their film, “Sugar Buddy,” is a buddy comedy.

The team wrote the script and filmed and edited the movie in five days.

Should “Sugar Buddy” win, the team will receive $2,000 grants as category winners and will have a chance to access a $15,000 seed fund/film finishing grant provided by the Adobe Foundation. Other prizes, like a Dell Technologies computer and one-year membership to Internet Movie Database Pro, further incentivize participation. In addition, organizations such as the Heartland International Film Festival, HollyShorts Film Festival and NewFilmmakers could take notice and elevate the film and possibly provide invaluable opportunities for networking and collaboration within the industry.

Easterseals Disability Film Challenge’s mission is to fill a missing gap of authentic disabled stories.

“Although more than 1 in 4 Americans live with a disability, the unique stories of our community are too often untold,” Friedman said. “By seeing our stories reflected on screen, the audience’s understanding of disability is expanded, and people are inspired to join the conversation.”

Friedman said the challenge helps to share stories through a disability lens.

The goal is to spread awareness about deaf and disabled people.

“We will need your help to spread the word and by sharing our finalized video post on platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter,” Friedman said. “Support your local Indianapolis Deaf team by sharing the post and view them as well. It will lead to more projects in Indiana for DeafTalent which is exciting, and we hope to see more deaf roles on TV in order to inspire other young children with disabilities.”

The challenge is sponsored by many big companies such as Sony, Netflix, Adobe and more.

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