Finalists from this year’s Easter Seals Disability Film Challenge are due to be announced on Saturday, August 8, and the winners will be unveiled a week from tomorrow. That gives you a few more days to watch all the contenders while the outcome’s in suspense. We encourage you to watch as many entries as possible, but particularly the three submissions from amputee filmmakers—two of whom (Melanie Waldman and Rachel Handler) collaborated on one of last year’s award-winning films.
Since its inception in 2014, the Disability Film Challenge has given a high-profile platform to artists who’d otherwise struggle to find an audience. At roughly five minutes each, these short documentaries are ideal for mobile viewing, and their production standards and sheer creativity keep improving year by year.
You can find all 87 films at the competition’s YouTube channel. We’ve featured the three limb-loss-related films below. Click the still image for each to watch over at YouTube. And don’t forget to like and share your favorites.
Filmmaker: Melanie Waldman
Preview: “Just because you’re inspirational, it doesn’t mean that you have to be. This is something I’ve learned the hard way. What I’ve come to learn is that I’m nobody’s inspiration but my own. This is being seen.”
How Much Am I Worth?
Filmmaker: Rachel Handler
Preview: “When I got that bill, it made me feel like a criminal. It made me feel like I’d done something wrong, when all I did was have a life-changing surgery that allowed me to walk again. . . . It’s insane to me that we’re so low on the totem pole for care, and when we do need to come together we’re silenced.”
You Win Some, You Lose Some
Filmmaker: Oscar Loreto, Jr.
Preview: “It might be controversial, but disability doesn’t mean s**t to me. And I mean that in the best way possible. I used to think it should define you and that it should be your identity, but as I’ve gotten older that’s definitely not the case. . . . What every ‘disabled’ person wants to do is fit in.”