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“Kryptonite”: A New Love Story about Intersectionality, Imperfection, and Music

Cameron S. Mitchell returns to the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge for his third year with “Kryptonite,” starring Grammy-nominated R&B singer Shanice and Switched at Birth actor Ryan Lane. In this emotionally charged film, old flames Imani (Shanice) and Alex (Lane) reconnect at her concert after being estranged for two years. One has a secret that will change their lives forever.

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 based on a different theme each year. This year’s theme was romance.

“When I heard the theme, my mind immediately went to all of the little intricate moments that we have yet to see portrayed on screen when disabled people are involved,” Mitchell says. “It was important to the whole team that this romance wasn’t perfect, that it had ups and downs and everything in between.”

As a director, writer, and DP, Mitchell specializes in “character-driven stories that look at the way outlier individuals break the mold of societal expectations.” Major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, PBS, and CBS have featured his work, including Emmy award-winning shows such as Cat People (Netflix), Mare of Eastown (HBO: Behind the Scenes), and The Drew Barrymore Show (CBS).

Throughout the story, “Kryptonite” touches on themes of music, race, and disability. Mitchell explores intersectionality through his characters and dispels the myth that Deaf people don’t, or can’t, enjoy music.

“The Disability Film Challenge gave me an outlet to express many of those ideas in my craft and helped me to find my voice as a filmmaker,” Mitchell says. “The spaces that are carved out for this type of material is so essential to bringing it into existence. I am not sure I would have ever made films about this if I didn’t know there was a space that wanted them and was actively looking and programming that material.”

Other disabled creatives also were involved in the making of this film: co-writer Joshua Friedman, producer Jo-Ann Dean, ASL director Brian Cole, and still photographer Raymond Dunn.

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