RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021
Amanda Upson left traditional legal practice to produce movies, transitioning from labor and employment law at a large firm to independent producer. Her first film, Magnum Opus, a spy thriller with timely themes, secured wide distribution in 2018 and a spot at the Virginia Film Festival. She currently is producing A Long March, a social justice documentary, which is in post-production. In A Long March, three Filipino-American veterans trace their paths from war to erasure by the US Government, marching from an obscured history to the Federal courts, right up to the steps of Congress in search of promises denied.
Amanda focuses on advocacy of underrepresented in front of and behind the camera via producing and consulting, as well as opening up a pipeline for same. Amanda speaks regularly about representation and accessibility; she is a contributing member of FWD-Doc (Filmmakers with Disabilities), serves on the Labor Committee of Documentary Producers Alliance, and is a member of D-Word and Women In Film.
Amanda serves as a mentor to students and alumni of her alma mater, University of Virginia, as well as attorneys in her home state of Colorado, where she co-founded and serves on the Board of Denver Mother Attorney Mentoring Association, and is appointed to the Colorado Task Force on Attorney Well-Being. She is an active member of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association. Amanda was named one of FORBES 40 to Watch Over 40, and is admitted to the bar of the US Supreme Court.
After an extensive search and interview process, 30 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2021 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 8-week, 24-session virtual 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, will take place June 22 – August 12, 2021. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. This Lab is a recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award. Learn more: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab.
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:
- Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company
- Gold Sponsors: A&E and Final Draft
- Silver Sponsors: NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS