Their names are Melanie Waldman and Rachel Handler and these two Atlantic County woman recently took part in the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.

The competition took place from April 5th to 7th but is very unique because it focuses on giving artists with disabilities to get involved in film projects, whether on camera or behind the scenes.

"I think this competition's main goal is to spread awareness for more authentic representation when casting in mainstream media," said Melanie Waldman who created and starred in their short-film submission. "Almost 20% of the population identifies as having a disability and this film challenge gives us the opportunity to step into the action."

So here is how the challenge works.

Over 200 individuals with disabilities participated in teams and got together for 55 hours to write, shot, and edit a short film that falls within their assigned genre.

Waldman and Handler took part in the creation of the sci-fi five-min short film titled, "The Vanished" which can be viewed below and has one major theme: inclusion.

Notice how everyone with a noticeable disability starts to disappear? Luckily, the main character puts a stop to it.

"Our aim for our piece was 'Inception' meets 'Groundhog’s Day,'" Waldman said. "We wanted the audience to question our characters' choices and actions throughout the piece and I think we were successful."

This film actually was nominated as a finalist for the "Best Awareness Campaign" category! From here, there is a panel of judges which includes RJ Mitte, Danny Woodburn, Kat Coiro and Kaitlyn Yang which will determine the winners.

Ladies, I think we can all say that we are beyond proud of you two representing South Jersey in the film world.

Way to go Melanie and Rachel. I am sure we will be seeing great things from you both.

For more information on the film challenge, click HERE.

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