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“Dinner for Six”: A Perfectly Cringe Short Film

If you’re looking for a breather in the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, go watch “Dinner for Six.” Directed, written, produced, and edited by Emily Kranking, the spunky comedy tells the story of an overprotective family spying on their disabled daughter Zoey’s (Emily Kranking) first date with Chris (Richie Dobson).

Founded by Nic Novicki, the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is an annual five-day competition in which filmmakers must create original three-to-five minute films. This year’s theme is romance, which delighted Kranking. She’s intended to create a film based on her first date experience, and this challenge gave her the extra push needed to bring the story to reality.

“The film had to be a lot shorter than I dreamt of,” Kranking says. “The original cut was actually a minute longer and some of my favorite jokes are in it, but I’m so happy that I pretty much got to say all I wanted to say.”

Nonetheless, Kranking pulls off “Dinner for Six” with tight editing and authentic disability representation. The acting shines through as each character perfectly communicates the humor—and for Zoey, the horror—of the situation.

One of RespectAbility’s 2020 Lab Alumnae, Kranking is a neurodiverse actor, writer, and disability advocate with cerebral palsy. She graduated from the Honors Acting Conservatory at The Theatre Lab and is one of the leads for the first disabled musical movie Best Summer Ever, which premiered at SXSW and can be watched on Hulu. A life-long learner, Kranking holds a MA in Disability Studies, BA in Media and Communication Studies, and AA in Graphic Design.

It should be noted that Kranking authentically casted actor Richie Dobson for the role of Chris, who happens to have autism. Other disabled creatives involved in the film include actor Joseph Braugh and production assistant Timmi Pinto.

“Don’t spy on your disabled family member on their first date, or they’ll make a movie about you!” Kranking says. “But all joking aside: First, really. Don’t spy on your disabled residents on dates. They’ll be fine.” Other people could relate to this sentiment, like a young non-disabled teenager whose parents want to make sure they’re safe on the date.

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Kim

Elizabeth Kim graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania, where she developed her passion for deaf/disability advocacy. She helped start The Asian Americans with Disabilities Initiative (AADI).

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