Monday July 26, 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The Census counts 54 million disabled people in the country. Jane Seymour's new PSA, showcasing the contributions of many others in Hollywood, is doing its part to celebrate and continue to raise the profile of the disabled:
The ADA originated on the east coast and its impact is being felt across the country. The movement is being celebrated by filmmakers in both the feature and independent film worlds: by James Cameron's "Jake Sulley" character in Avatar, and the real life version -- Oscar "Oz" Sanchez in the Academy qualified independent documentary Unbeaten by documentary filmmaker Steven C. Barber. Vanilla Fire Productions and Polaris Global Media produced a film about disability which is now qualified for Academy consideration for 2011. (The filmmaker's first film Return To Tarawa narrated by Ed Harris, is now showing on the Discovery Network's Military Channel; The WWII CSI-style recovery sequel will be shot August 8-31, 2010 in The Pacific and calls for another A-list celebrity to narrate.) Both films Avatar and Unbeaten, together uplifted the heart of the disability community with a pre-anniversary screening in DC at the world renowned Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where the film-makers received the coveted Commander's Coin for their healing mission which was showcased on CNN's American Morning with John Roberts, when they delivered Avatar DVDs donated by Avatar's Jon Landau to 300 wounded marine veterans in May 2010.
As a producer on Unbeaten I interviewed James Cameron at the Global Green Pre-Oscar Party about why he featured disabled marine veteran "Jake Sulley" in his film Avatar.
Sam Worthington, who played the disabled vet, invited the filmmakers of Unbeaten to the premiere of Avatar.
The Unbeaten filmmaker is leaving leaving in two weeks to film the CSI style WWII Recovery mission to The Pacific, a film intended to compliment the first film which catapulted the Discovery Network's Military Channel ratings and was seen around the world on Larry King Live with Oscar-nominated actor Ed Harris who narrated the film. A new A-list celebrity is scheduled to narrate the sequel in pre-production, and funds have been raised by all those who have gotten behind the filmmaking mission intended to elevate the profile of the disabled: Dan Aykroyd, Clint Black, JP Dejoria, Steve Forbes, Eli Broad, T. Boone Pickens, Cher, Billy-Jean King, Tony Hawk, Paula and Sumner Redstone, Larry Hagman, Carole Bayer Sager, Mark Burnett, Steve Jobs, Norman Lear, Lee Roy Mitchell, Jane Seymour, Dr. Robert R. Saito, Pamela Anderson, and Ed Roski. Of the 1,112 billionaires on the planet, eight of them have contributed to the independent films mission by Barber.
This filmmaking mission encompass areas of persistence and determination in the lives of disabled marines where stories of redemption and passion will move you to tears. Will the real "Jake Sulley" please stand up? The 20th Anniversary of the ADA needed a carborundum style filmmaking hero like Barber to withstand the heat and pressure to break through.
The public is invited to join the filmmakers for a screening/send-off of the film Unbeaten and the Jane Seymour PSA at Vidiot's in Santa Monica on Saturday night July 31st, 2010.