Published On: September 27, 2023

Easterseals Partners with Heartland International Film Festival on Disability Film Challenge

Free screening of Disability Film Challenge finalists on October 9

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 25, 2023) – Easterseals Crossroads, a local nonprofit organization providing disability services, is excited to partner with the Heartland International Film Festival to highlight the 2023 finalists of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge was created in 2013 and launched in 2014 by actor, comedian and producer Nic Novicki, who has starred in the hit holiday children’s series, Santa Buddies, and has appeared in hit TV shows such as Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos.

The week-long 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. Open to all, the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge provides a platform for new voices in the entertainment industry.

Heartland International Film Festival is offering a free screening of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge winners and finalists on Monday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m. The screening takes place at Glendale Landmark Theater 12, 6102 N Rural St. in Indianapolis. Nic Novicki will be at the screening to present this year’s lineup. Order your free screening tickets by visiting:

“I am so excited to come to Indianapolis for the Heartland Film Festival for a special screening of the 10th anniversary finalists that were shot earlier this year.,” Novicki said. “I created the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge to help accelerate change within Hollywood and to provide filmmakers and actors with tangible work experience and with an opportunity to tell authentic stories. We are proud of the amazing films produced over the past 10 years — viewed around the world — and the successes our participants have gone on to achieve.”

“The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is one of the highlights of our year at Easterseals Crossroads, and we’re so glad the Heartland Film Festival will once again hold a screening of the latest and greatest from creators with disabilities,” said Easterseals Crossroads President and CEO David Dreith. “These short films pack entertainment, inspiration and humor into a wonderful evening.”

The 32nd Heartland International Film Festival takes place October 5-15. Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization that runs the 11-day Heartland International Film Festival in October, the Academy Award®-Qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival in July, the Truly Moving Picture Award and other year-round programs. Based in Indianapolis, Heartland Film was founded in 1991 with the mission to curate, promote and celebrate thoughtful and engaging films from diverse perspectives.

For more about Easterseals Crossroads or to donate, visit