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Museum of the Moving Image Launches Marvels Of Media Awards To Celebrate Media-Makers With Autism

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Program spotlights professionals and students in the fields of film, media, animation, game design, and more.

Museum of the Moving Image Launches Marvels Of Media Awards To Celebrate Media-Makers With Autism

Museum of the Moving Image is inviting all audiences to recognize the creativity and leadership of media-makers with autism. To honor media-makers on the spectrum, MoMI is launching an open call for nominations for the Marvels of Media Awards, the very first media awards ceremony, film festival, and exhibit to celebrate neurodiversity. In March 2022, MoMI will present a free, public film festival featuring selected works of honorees, followed by an awards ceremony. An accompanying media exhibit will share the artistry of these honorees, providing a perspective of media-making through the lens of autism.

Through the Marvels of Media Awards, MoMI further affirms a commitment to supporting the creative endeavors and pursuits of autistic media-makers of all ages and backgrounds. Programs at MoMI dedicated to audiences and media-makers on the spectrum have included sensory-friendly screenings, trainings for parents and teachers on using media puppetry for the benefit of autistic children (held in collaboration with the Jim Henson Foundation), an early-hours educational program hosted by a live puppeteer inside The Jim Henson Exhibition, and disability-forward public events relating to media artistry. These programs are set to resume in winter 2022.

MoMI's Marvels of Media Awards was developed by the Museum's education department and leadership in partnership with Josh Sapan, a long-time member of MoMI's Board of Trustees and the Executive Vice Chairman of AMC Networks.

MoMI is now accepting nominations for the Marvels of Media Awards via FilmFreeway at filmfreeway.com/marvelsofmediaawards. Artists, designers, and other creators working with film, media, animation, game design, and new media may self-nominate by submitting a media work or be nominated by a colleague or organization. Professional, mid-career, and emerging artists working in any area of media are encouraged to apply, as well as students of media and media-makers of all ages. The application is free and the deadline for entry is January 31, 2022. More information can be found on the open call and how to apply for the 2022 Marvels of Media Awards here.

"We are looking for uniquely talented people who have tapped into their creativity and interests to create extraordinary media art," said Carl Goodman, MoMI's Executive Director. "If you know someone on the autism spectrum who has made innovative contributions to the media arts, whether they are a student, new to the field, or a seasoned expert, please consider nominating them for this groundbreaking new project to recognize the artistry of autistic media-makers."

Goodman continues: "We are also indebted to Josh Sapan for conceiving of this initiative and for connecting us with an esteemed judging panel that is sure to stimulate great interest in this first-of-its-kind campaign."

"In recent years, media-makers on the autism spectrum have made many pioneering contributions to the fields of television, media, and game design," said Sapan. "As someone who has had a personal experience with neurodiversity in my own family and with some of the most creative makers and leaders I have worked with in my business life, I look forward to honoring these notable stories and achievements, both with an awards ceremony and an exhibit produced to MoMI's always first-class standards."

The Marvels of Media Awards is being produced in collaboration with an advisory committee of artists, spokespeople on the autism spectrum, and experts in the field of media including: Disability Advocate and Scholar Dena L. Gassner; Media Artist Justin Canha; Autistic Advocate, Writer, and Creative Consultant Miranda Lee; Parent Advocate Susana Montes; Occupational Therapist and Author Lindsey Biel; Writer/Comedian Maylin Pavletic; Museum Education and Community Engagement Consultant Michelle López; Visual Storyteller and Educator Paola Quintero, JD, MAAEd; and Rosa Martínez, President and Founder of Strokes of Genius, Inc., an organization that promotes artists with autism.

A final judging panel of respected industry experts will include Executive Vice Chairman of AMC Networks Josh Sapan; President of the Jim Henson Foundation Cheryl Henson; Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer; Journalist Paula Zahn; CEO of Take-Two Interactive Strauss Zelnick; Screenwriter/Filmmaker Tony Spiridakis; Neurodiversity Advocate Wendy Belzberg; and former CEO of Crown Media Family Networks Bill Abbott, with more to be announced.

To support this initiative and the programs dedicated to serving and supporting media-makers on the spectrum, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Museum of the Moving Image, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations of $500 or more will include two complimentary tickets to the awards ceremony. Please contact development@movingimage.us to donate.


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