- Michael D. Pitman Staff Writer
John Lawson, a former Butler County resident, hopes to add one more accolade to his growing lists of acting, producing and writing credits: Easterseals Disability Film Challenge winner.
Lawson left for California from the city of Fairfield about two years ago to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He’s been in a number of stage, television and film productions over the years, including guest spots on the television shows “Awkward” and “Law and Order.” He’s also written, directed, produced and appeared in two short films.
Lawson, a double arm amputee, has now produced a short film — “Whitney’s Wedding” — as part of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. Participants in the contest had 55 hours to write, produce and complete a short film showcasing disability.
The contest ends May 8. Finalists will be announced on May 11 and winners will be announced on May 18.
The contest was founded to raise awareness about the disabled community within Hollywood. It’s an on-going conversation to empower those in the industry — with and and without disabilities.
“Although more than 56 million Americans are living with disabilities, the unique stories of our community are too often not told,” said Lawson. “By seeing our stories reflected on screen, these films inspire people to join the conversation and expand the audience’s understanding of disability today.”
Lawson said “Whitney’s Wedding” turns the tables on Down syndrome, showing that those “normal” 46-chromosome people are abnormal, and those with the extra chromosome are “normal.” The film explores how a bride gets cold feet when she realizes everyone thinks her fiancé is not normal.
The film stars Jamie Brewer (“American Horror Story”), Blair Williamson (“ER,” “CSI,” “Nip/Tuck”), Jonathan Slavin (“Dr. Ken,” “Speechless”) and Erika Ervine (“American Horror Story”).
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