EXCLUSIVE: The American Foundation for the Blind is set to present filmmaker Shawn Levy with the 2024 Helen Keller Achievement Award, which will be bestowed during a special ceremony April 18 in Los Angeles.
AFB is recognizing Levy for his contributions in breaking down barriers for people with disabilities following the success of his Netflix series All the Light We Cannot See, directed by Levy and produced by his 21 Laps Entertainment. The limited series bowed in November and was recently nominated for a Golden Globe, a DGA Award and a PGA Award.
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“Through the power of storytelling, Levy has shifted the tides of perception imprinted on those with disabilities, creating a world of inclusion both on the screen and behind the scenes,” said Eric Bridges, AFB’s president and CEO. “Levy’s casting and direction of Aria Mia Loberti and Nell Sutton in the series not only elevated the art of acting through authentic representation on the screen, but he also touched audiences with a story that echoed the power of the human spirit.”
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, the series chronicles the experiences of Marie-Laure Leblanc, a young French woman who is blind and fuels the resistance during the Nazi occupation of France through her radio broadcasts. Levy made an assertive effort to bring genuine authenticity to Leblanc by casting Loberti and Sutton, both blind actors.
“The power of changing perception stood at the heart of Helen Keller’s mission,” added Bridges. “In this same spirit, Levy is truly a trailblazer for inclusion in the entertainment industry.”
Since 1994, the Helen Keller Achievement Award has recognized the finest thought leaders, change-makers, and performing artists committed to carrying on Keller’s mission to create a world of full and equal inclusion for people with disabilities. For over 40 years, Helen Keller was AFB’s leading ambassador, inspiring millions worldwide as she demonstrated all that can be accomplished through determination and perseverance.
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