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Keith Hedlund

RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2019

Keith Hedlund smiling headshot

Keith Hedlund

As the progeny of union laborers and therapists, Keith Hedlund has a penchant for stories that combine deft navigation of social issues with overconfident assessments of human relationships. By the time he earned his MFA in film and television directing from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, Keith had worked as a detective’s assistant, a community organizer, an ice cream man, a schoolteacher, and a maple syrup sap tapper—experiences that all find their way into his writing and directing.

Keith’s work has received a Sloan Science & Film Feature Screenwriting Award and multiple short film awards. He’s worked with George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures, Creative Differences Productions, the AMDA College and Conservatory, and UCLA’s Center for Engineering, Media and Performance. He writes and directs using multiple forms, including live action narrative, documentary, and animation. In addition to his degree from UCLA, he holds an MFA in creative writing from Brown University. He is a member of the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors.

Keith’s experience with epilepsy has strengthened his long-time commitment to social advocacy and has been an important inspiration for his work.


After an extensive search and interview process, 22 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2019 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 5-week, nine-session innovative summer lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, takes place June 18 – July 18, 2019. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. Learn more:

This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by: Comcast NBCUniversalJonathan Murray and The Walt Disney Company.

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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