RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021
Born in Long Island, New York as the Jamaican/Cuban/Chinese/Jewish daughter to immigrant parents, Asha Chai-Chang is an Actuary by Trade turned Award-Winning Director/Writer with an invisible disability (tracheal stenosis). Miss Chai-Chang has been nominated and won numerous awards for her films that include, but are not limited to “Best Director,” “Best Humor,” “Best Ensemble,” and “Best Short Film.” In 2020 alone, Asha was named as Winner of 2020 Flip the Script Filmmaking Competition taking home awards for Best Director and Best Picture. She has been selected as a participant in the Summer 2021 RespectAbility Lab Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities, was a Finalist for the 2021 Blackmagic Collective All Access Career Initiative, is a Women of Color Unite #Startwith8Hollywood Mentee, and is a member of Alliance of Women Directors (AWD).
Miss Chai-Chang is a Diversity in Film Advocate, a Slamdance programmer, and a founding member of UNSTOPPABLE sponsored by HULU, a film program that features films created by disabled filmmakers and/or featuring talent with disabilities. UNSTOPPABLE has garnered the attention of YouTube, Google, Amazon Studios, IndieWire, and ScreenDaily.
She embraces the bicoastal life, hailing from the Queen City – Charlotte, North Carolina and serves as Co-Founder and Co-President for North Carolina Women in Film & Television (NCWIFT). Simultaneously, she has managed the promotion, nominations, and wins of four films in the current film festival circuit; These include “Cruise Control,” “Spoiler Alert,” “A.V.G,” and “All by Design.”
Miss Chai-Chang is the director and producer of the docuseries “AshaDorable.” She is excited to produce two feature films currently in pre-production and wrote two feature-length scripts that she will direct within the next two years.
As CEO of her own diversified, culturally transformative production company, Love My Productions, LLC, Asha creates uplifting content with strong female characters and authentic representation in cast and crew to provide opportunities for BIPOC creatives and promote intersectionality and subcultures on screen. As a sought-out panelist and public speaker for Film Festivals, Universities, and Comic Conventions, she advocates for diversity, gender parity, and disability inclusion to amplify diverse and disabled voices.
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