The 2023 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge short film “Free As the Wind” is a beautifully crafted and heartwarming love story that showcases simplicity and creativity at its best. The film was created as part of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, where filmmakers have just five days to write and produce a short film of three-to-five minutes duration, promoting disability inclusion based on the year’s announced genre.
2022 RespectAbility Lab Alumna Erika Ellis (Producer) partnered with writer and director Joshua Lang to bring this touching story to life. Lang’s personal touch as a disabled veteran and the real-life romance of his grandparents are reflected in the story’s narrative, making it even more meaningful.
The film follows the love story of a Women Airforce Service Pilot and a mechanic who travel the world together. Ellis and Lang effectively capture the essence of the story by using vibrant backdrops and black silhouetted characters, creating a visually stunning film. The video wall technique seamlessly transports the audience to different parts of the world, enhancing the storytelling.
A notable aspect of this film is its representation of disabled veterans. Ellis and her team made sure that half of the production team were disabled veterans, emphasizing the importance of inclusion and diversity in the entertainment industry.
As a producer, Ellis thoroughly enjoyed the creative process and the magic of filmmaking, evident in the final product. The film is not only visually pleasing, but it also has a message for the audience about love and perseverance. After watching the film, Ellis wants the audience to know about the Women Airforce Service Pilots and how love can sustain through life’s difficulties.
Overall, “Free As the Wind” is a must-watch short film that will leave you feeling inspired and in love. The film perfectly exemplifies how creativity and passion can make a simple story extraordinary.