• Thank you so much Lisa for having us on! It has been a pleasure.

  • Unfortunately people take advantage of the system and they aren’t educated enough or are just ignorant to realize that if they take this spot then when someone who really needs it pulls up and can’t park there and it creates a whole ripple effect.

  • I went on a date with a guy who pulled out a placard at the meter and he got an ear full from me and I never saw him again.

  • Ha! Right… Well it just knocks all those questions out of the way right?

  • That’s aweful about the valet’s parking in the spots… glad the story broke.

  • It’s an unanswered question that many people have… as well as can you have sex? We wanted to answer some of the “taboo” questions.

  • My friend and her boyfriend write citizen tickets for people who park in disabled parking spots… or they sit out and wait until the person comes out to their car blocking them in…

  • Agreed. People who I have worked with or have come across in the work field who have disabilities work ten times harder because they want to be there…. there needs to be diversity in the work place.

  • I lost it in the room with your mother and I barely speak spanish… just the raw emotion and love she has for you and her family is so powerful.

  • I’m actually just getting off of a three day shoot for a short film called Collision that I’m directing/producing with friends It’s a narrative that features two female wheelchair users in leading roles, Collision is breaking barriers. As an action film that pushes the boundaries of wheelchair stunts and shows the women being badass. It is a movement away from long held stereotypes and stigmas regarding disability in Hollywood.
    It’s a step away from documentaries right now for me and is my first narrative short film project besides a webseries I have directed.

  • I am certified in scuba from college but have only gone in a lake… Bonaire sounds lovely!

  • I can’t speak for Erika’s hildren but I think that they are very proud of her. Have two parents that don’t love together is very stressful. Erika’s children have three different fathers so they don’t always get to see each other. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult that is on the children because naturally they want to be with both of there parents and be surrounded by that love.
    When we were filming with her children we only got to film with Kaliyah and Skylynn because Ariana was with her grandparents in NY. Kaliyah and Skylynn were both so excited about their mother being Ms. Wheelchair NC 2009 and I can only imagine their excitement over her being Ms. Wheelchair America 2010. Your mommy is your mommy and someone that you will always look up to.

  • When I first met Ana was at the Texas State pageant where she was crowned. She is an amazing public speaker and she talked about trying out for the cheerleading squad and becoming the team captain. We then had the opportunity to follow her at work where she worked everyday with children at Shriner’s she has such an amazing personality that people connect with weather it’s one on one or in a large group.

  • All of the women are adventurous in one way or another… Ana in the last year has taken up scuba diving!

  • We never know what goes on behind the judges closed doors. Ana you are right Erika really made an impression because of her heart and her goals in life for breaking stigmas. She actually has a great blog: http://lilunperfectangel.webs.com/ She titles it Unperfect Angel… We are not all perfect. We all have our flaws and we all make mistakes. It’s how we deal with our mistakes and move past them which defines us.

  • As documentary filmmakers we are only there to observe and capture what is going in. At no point did we go to the board and tell them that Erika did not have full custody of all of her girls. After Erika was crowned her boss had made a comment to a fellow competitors mother which then it was out in the open and I was contacted by the president of the board informing me that a formal letter was sent.
    It’s a very fine line because mother-hood is a wonderful thing and Erika truly does love her children.

  • Agreed! Speaking of racing… some scenes never made it to the final cut and one scene that our team truly loved was Ana driving. Her car is adapted to the nines… I personally think she has a need for speed.

    Women are women. The women that we followed were all so amazing… but they are just like every other woman able-bodied or disabled. We wished we could have had 27 cameras on all of them 24/7! It was so difficult for us to narrow it down to following only a few of them intimately. We really wanted to show that just because you are in a wheelchair that doesn’t make you any different.

  • My Sister-in-law was a Ms. Wheelchair GA and Ms. Wheelchair America First runner up. My brother was a ski instructor for people with disabilities and a caregiver to a young man with CP when I was growing up (my brother Aaron is 15 years older than me.) My brother was always my hero and he would always bring around his awesome friends who just happened to use wheels as transpo. I was wanting to create my first film and I wanted it to be something that I was passionate about. I had been at sundance as a PR assistant to Moby and saw the film trouble the water and Tia Lessen the filmmaker said pick up a camera and do what you are most passionate about and I knew that I was most passionate about creating change for people with disabilities. I had seen the struggles that women with disabilities have faced and there hasn’t been a film that breaks those stigmas besides Murderball and Murderball was for the Dudes. So Defining Beauty: Ms. Wheelchair America is the Woman’s answer to Murderball.

  • As Molly mentioned we had a community screening in Atlanta which was lead by our Executive Producer Manuela Ikenze. You can check out the event at: http://tasteofbeautysoutheast.org/
    We are having a private community screening at the Ms. Wheelchair America National Pageant this Thursday for all the women who are currently competing at the pageant.
    Our ultimate goal with this film is to create change and break stigmas for all people with disabilities. After our festival run we are looking to get the film out to universities where the community can come together and use the film as a tool to discuss the changes that still need to occur.

  • We are currently finishing out our film festival run and are actively looking for distribution to get the film out there via Television and Theatrical.

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