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Headshots of 20 RespectAbility 2022 in-person Entertainment Lab Participants

Lonzo Bentley

RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2022

Lonzo Bentley smiling headshot

Lonzo Bentley

Lonzo Bentley is an award-winning writer and director born, raised, and currently residing in Detroit, Michigan.

Storytelling has always been the main form of communication in his life, whether it was listening to his elders recount their history, or watching classic films such as “Rocky” or “Night of the Living Dead” with his father. He soon discovered that cinema was not only a medium for entertainment, but a medium to tell stories that could invoke empathy, capture history often buried, and explore the nuances and complexities of the human condition.

Since 2015, he has produced, written, and directed three feature films called “Suicide Isn’t Painless,” “Beautiful Melancholy,” and “Love is Love,” and a handful of shorts and web series. In addition to being in development on multiple projects, Lonzo is currently in pre-production on his fourth feature, “There You Are Flat Rock,” which is set to start shooting in the summer of 2023.

Learn More

After an extensive search and interview process, 20 individuals were invited to participate in the Los Angeles Cohort of RespectAbility’s 2022 Entertainment Lab taking place June 7 – July 14, 2022. This 6-week, 18-session Lab aims to further develop and elevate the talent pipeline of diverse professionals with disabilities working behind-the-scenes in television, film, and streaming. Participants include people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health, and other disabilities ranging in age from people in their 20’s through their 50’s. The Lab is a recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award.

The Los Angeles Cohort of the 2022 Entertainment Lab is made possible with support by:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation and Netflix
  • Gold Sponsors: The Harnisch Foundation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Company
  • Silver Sponsors: Hollywood Foreign Press Association Charitable Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, and NBCUniversal
  • Location Sponsors: Bunim-Murray Productions, DreamWorks Animation, Endeavor, Lionsgate, Nielsen, and ROSIES Foundation

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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