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For Immediate Release

Easterseals Southern California and IMDbPro Collaborate to Support and Create Visibility for Entertainment Professionals in the Disability Community

Collaboration Includes Highlighting Winners of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge on IMDb and IMDbPro

Los Angeles, April 7, 2021

Media Contact:
Elyse Weissman

Lindsey Brown

Today, nonprofit disability services provider and resource Easterseals Southern California and IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals, announced the latest phase of their ongoing work to support and create visibility and employment and collaboration opportunities for entertainment professionals in the disability community. 

This is the second consecutive year IMDbPro is sponsoring the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. Currently underway, the weeklong filmmaking contest gives filmmakers – with and without disabilities – the opportunity to collaborate to tell unique stories that showcase disability in its many forms, inviting aspiring storytellers to creatively write, produce and complete short films. The challenge will be judged by a wide selection of influential voices within the entertainment industry, including IMDb Founder and CEO Col Needham. Finalists will be announced on Thursday, April 29, with the virtual Awards Ceremony set to take place on Thursday, May 6. IMDbPro provides winners with a one-year membership and the opportunity for their film to be featured in a video playlist on the homepage of IMDb, the world's most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows and celebrities. As in previous years, the winning and finalist films and creators will have the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge listed as an “Award” on their IMDb and IMDbPro name and title pages. 

IMDbPro and Easterseals have hosted sessions with entertainment professionals in the disability community to be sure they are optimizing their IMDb profiles and taking advantage of all available features. For example, IMDbPro empowers entertainment industry professionals with the option to self-identify as a member of the disability community, as part of a suite of tools to manage and showcase their IMDb profile, including selecting their primary images and the credits they are best “known for.” Additionally, using the new IMDbPro Discover tool (currently available in beta mode), members can find other professionals to hire and collaborate with, including talent who have self-identified as a member of the disability community as well as those who were finalists and winners of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. IMDbPro Discover will continue to be optimized based on feedback provided by Easterseals and other professionals in the disability community. 

“We are so thrilled to continue our work with the IMDbPro team,” said Nic Novicki, founder of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. “It is so important to have collaborators like IMDbPro who understand the importance of visibility for underrepresented communities and are taking the necessary steps to highlight those who have not been seen or heard as often as they should. We hope that by utilizing the new IMDbPro Discover tool and other powerful IMDbPro features, creators will be able to more authentically portray the disabled community by hiring the incredibly talented wealth of actors, writers, directors and others who know the experience firsthand.”   

“By making it easier for decision-makers to find talent from the disability community and other under-represented groups, IMDbPro provides opportunities to accelerate the entertainment industry’s push for greater diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Matt Kumin, Head of IMDbPro. “We are pleased to continue collaborating with Easterseals Southern California and are grateful for their ongoing commitment and leadership in supporting entertainment professionals in the disability community.” 

IMDbPro Discover is a new service that empowers members to find people based on a variety of key IMDb data, experience and expertise. It is an ideal information resource for decision-makers such as casting directors, producers, directors, showrunners, department heads, execs and others hiring a team or building talent and crew lists, and much more. It includes advanced features to customize, export and share your lists. IMDbPro Discover is now available in beta mode to all members at www.imdbpro.com/discover. To become an IMDbPro member today, visit www.imdbpro.com.

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About Easterseals Southern California

For more than 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The services provided by Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) – in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties – make profound and positive differences in people's lives every day, helping them address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals so that they can live, learn, work and play in our communities. With 2,800+ employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, ESSC assists more than 14,000 people, providing adult/senior day services; autism therapy; child development/early education; employment services, veteran employment support; independent living options; and more. Join us in changing the way the world defines and views disabilities at www.easterseals.com/southerncal.


About IMDbPro

IMDbPro (http://www.imdbpro.com) is the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals. This membership-based service includes comprehensive information and tools that are designed to help entertainment industry professionals achieve success throughout all stages of their career. IMDbPro offers members the following: detailed contact and representation information; tools to manage and showcase their IMDb profile, including the ability to select their primary images and the credits they are best “known for”; exclusive STARmeter rankings that are determined by page views on IMDb; the IMDbPro app for iPhone, iPad and Android; IMDbPro Track, which empowers members to receive personalized entertainment industry news and notifications on the people and film and TV projects they want to follow; a convenient tool that generates custom digital assets to promote their work on social media and other platforms; and free access to premium and secure video and voice meetings and chat messaging via Amazon Chime. Additional IMDbPro services include Box Office Mojo (http://www.boxofficemojo.com), the leading online source of box-office data. IMDbPro is a division of IMDb (www.imdb.com), the #1 movie website in the world with a combined web and mobile audience of more than 200 million monthly visitors. Follow IMDbPro on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/imdbpro/), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/imdbpro/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/imdbpro).

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