Brittany Martin is from Singapore by way of Philadelphia. Her @AbleThrive program helps families with disabilities to connect to resources online and in their communities. Her dad was paralyzed in a car accident. “We didn’t know anything at first. But we had access to good resources and mentors. My dad lives independently, works as an engineer, lives a fulfilling life. Years later, I realized how many people with disabilities had low qualities of life and underestimated what they are capable of.” She wondered: What would have happened if I wasn’t from Philly? I’m not sure I would have gotten my Dad back. It’s unacceptable that people live that way.” A former teacher, she does AbleThrive full-time. Her fiancee’s job moved them to Singapore. “Disability is not geographic,” she says. “And it cuts through anything that separates people. The Internet is the only way to reach that community.” Martin won a SXSW Community Service Award.
Molly Christie Benson, filmmaker from Venice, Ca. First SX: 1987. “Our movie, ‘Seven Chinese Brothers’ started because we all knew each other at Telluride. That included Bob Byington. He reached out to me and Nancy Schafer. Shot the whole thing in Austin. Got to be here and work with Jason Schwartzman and Arrow, his dog. Wrapped a year ago. Premiering on Sunday at the Topfer Theatre. Changes? SXSW offerings are so great now, it’s neat be able to do film and advertising in one fell swoop.”