School of Theatre, Film & Television alum David Bornstein (BA, ’13) has been selected as one of 20 Fellows to participate in RespectAbility’s 2022 Lab for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities.
Now in its fourth year, the Lab aims to elevate the talent pipeline of professionals with disabilities working in television, film, and streaming. During the Lab, studio executives and other decision makers advise Lab Fellows on various aspects of the industry and their specific craft. Lab alumni currently are working at Disney, Netflix, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Showtime and more.
“I never really embraced my autism as a part of my creative voice,” said David, who majored in Film & Television Producing and Studies. “For most of my adult life I actively tried to suppress and hide these parts of me to my own detriment. I’m proud to be a part of this group of awesome filmmakers and writers, and I am even more excited to learn from them.”
“The entertainment lab is a unique program that merges our work in the entertainment industry with RespectAbility’s founding mission to create more opportunities for people with disabilities who desire to be employed,” said lab founder and director Lauren Appelbaum. “We do not want anyone to have an excuse that they could not find a disabled writer, animator, director or any other position.”
Host companies include Bunim-Murray Productions, DreamWorks Animation, Endeavor, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company, with additional speakers coming from Netflix, Nielsen, Warner Bros. Discovery and WGA West.
“All of these studios hosting lab fellows on their lots provides a level of comfort and familiarity for when our alumni return for job interviews,” said Delbert Whetter, who co-founded the Lab with Appelbaum. “Moreover, the importance of the interaction and information-sharing between influential Hollywood executives and decision-makers and these incredibly talented professionals with disabilities in an accessible setting cannot be overstated.”
As a director, David Bornstein’s most recent short film Unholy ‘Mole (2021) has screened at some forty film festivals, including the Academy Award qualifying Seattle International Film Festival, and earned 10 festival nominations and awards.Read more at The Hollywood Reporter