I CAN Premieres Today As Part Of The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
Renaissance Man Productions is thrilled to announce the premiere of "I CAN" for the 2019 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. Now in its sixth year, the event challenges filmmakers to make a film in 55 hours that showcases people with disabilities in order to help change the way the world defines and views disability. "I CAN" marks actress and activist Diana Elizabeth Jordan's directional debut.
Jordan (S.W.A.T., 7th Heaven), a black woman with cerebral palsy, has made her way in Hollywood as an actor and acting coach throughout the years. With representation in TV and film finally coming to the forefront, Jordan decided it was time to direct after being an actor in the challenge for the last few years and winning the Best Actor award in 2016. That's when she approached award-winning director Cory Reeder, who's film Best Friend starring Jordan won Best Film and the Audience Awareness Award in 2017. Reeder now serves as the producer for the short film "I CAN."
"It's important for artists to create opportunities, not wait for them," says Jordan. "I will always love acting but getting the chance to direct "I CAN" was a whole new experience. That's why I love the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. Working with my producer Cory Reeder gave me a chance to expand as an artist and create space for other artists with disabilities to grow too."
"I CAN" is the story of a young woman named Ellis (Jennifer Bevans) who is struggling to overcome a series of emotional nightmares. Peer pressure from friends to remain childlike and threats from her overbearing mother who is compelled to protect her. When Ellis finally wakes up she realizes they weren't nightmares, but rather emotional tests designed by Dr. Smith (Mather Zickel, Younger), an authoritative mentor who has been trying to prepare her for something bigger. It's not until Ellis stands up to her mentor that she unleashes her true power while freeing herself to head toward her destiny.
90% of the funds raised by the non-profit Easterseals go directly to assistance programs. This year's challenge films will be up for awards such as Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Awareness Campaign. Additionally, the 2019 finalists in each award category will receive a one-year subscription to Variety Magazine and one-year membership to Film Independent. The finalists will be announced and screened during the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 27, 2019.
"I CAN" premieres Friday, April 12, 2019 on YouTube: https://youtu.be/y139ah9jDKg