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EDFC Launches First Ever Disability Loop Group on Sony Pictures Studio Lot

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The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge (EDFC) has created the first ever disability loop group. The group was launched with a recent EDFC workshop held on the Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) studio lot that included coaching, feedback and advice from animation executives. SPE has been a key sponsor and host of EDFC for six years.

 

A loop group is a group of actors involved in recording audio for edited programming during post-production. Loop groups provide background noise and audio clips that enrich the soundscape in films, television shows, video games and commercials. Loop groups bring video-based projects to life by creating atmosphere and lending a sense of authenticity.

 

The initiative follows the casting of EDFC founder and director Nic Novicki as Lego Spider-Man and longtime Film Challenge participant Danielle Perez as Sun-Spider in Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s Oscar®-nominated and critically acclaimed film, Spider-Man™: Across the Spider-Verse. Both Perez and Novicki are actors with disabilities who were recommended for their roles in the film by Academy Award®-winning writers/producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, longtime supporters of the Film Challenge.

 

In addition to Novicki and Perez, the loop group consists of other talented actors who have a disability and are all experienced as voice over artists in addition to acting careers and who have previously worked on such hit Sony Pictures TV shows as LoudermilkThe Good DoctorS.W.A.T., L.A.’s FinestAtypicalMad Dogs and Drop Dead Diva. Members to date include Domonique BrownSommer CarbucciaFrancine DanielsTobias ForrestEileen GrubbaDiana Elizabeth JordanGwyn LaReeMark PovinelliNatalie Trevonne and Kurt Yaeger.

 

Said Novicki, “Bringing together the world’s first disability loop group to learn skills from some of the top entertainment professionals in the world will lead to jobs for more people with disabilities, which is the sole goal of the Film Challenge. This opportunity not only allows us to authentically portray our disabilities on screen, but to be featured in non-traditional roles. Thank you to Sony Pictures for their continued support over the years and for hosting the inaugural group on the lot and for providing such invaluable advice!” 

 

Disability Loop Group Video: https://disabilityfilmchallenge.com/workshops/loop-group

 

According to the CDC, 25% of U.S. residents, more than 61 million people, have a disability, making it today’s largest minority population. Yet, according to a study released last summer by USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the number of speaking characters with a disability in a major film was just 1.9% in 20221. GLAAD also published a report in 2022 which found that only 2.8% of series regulars on primetime broadcast TV (22 of 775) were characters with disabilities2. And per the most-recent Ruderman Family Foundation study, about 95% of characters with disabilities in Hollywood’s top films and TV shows are played by able-bodied actors3.

 

Celebrating more than a decade of leadership advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, the 2024 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge opened for registration Jan. 20, with the competition to be held April 2-April 7. The awards ceremony will be held May 9 at Sony Pictures Studios.  For more information:  http://www.disabilityfilmchallenge.com

 

About the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge: 

As someone with a disability, actor, comedian and producer Nic Novicki launched the Disability Film Challenge in 2013 in response to the under-representation of talent with disabilities both in front of and behind the camera. Novicki created the challenge to give aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their work and provide them with meaningful exposure. In 2017, Novicki joined forces with Easterseals Southern California – the nation’s leading nonprofit supporting people and families with disabilities – to expand the event, now known as the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.

 

About Easterseals Southern California:

Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities. Easterseals Southern California provides essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 18,000 people each year—from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, daily and independent living services for adults, employment programs and more. Our public education, policy and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans with disabilities today. Together, we’re empowering people with disabilities, families and communities to be full and equal participants in society. Learn more at:  https://www.easterseals.com/southerncal

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