Yucaipa’s ‘Grambo’ jail employee honored in film contest – San Bernardino Sun

A Yucaipa woman’s film about her mother, Kay Halstead, nicknamed “Grambo” by jail inmates, has been entered into the 2022 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.

Brandi Halstead has until April 25 to promote the movie and garner support on social media before finalists are chosen.

This still from the film “Grambo” shows filmmaker Brandi Halstead, of Yucaipa, speaking about her mother, a former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department employee who died in 2018. The film has been entered in the 2022 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. (Courtesy of Brandi Halstead)

As an employee of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Kay Halstead took care of high-security inmates at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. She was tough, but she was only about 5 feet, 2 inches tall, her daughter said over the phone.

When her mother died in 2018, “I had to learn to deal with change,” Brandi Halstead said in the video. “Change has always been a really hard thing for me.”

Brandi Halstead described herself as both developmentally and intellectually disabled, and said she and her mother had opposite personalities, but that has not stopped her from following in her mother’s footsteps.

“Her job, I could never do in a million years,” Halstead said over the phone, “but I started being involved in law enforcement as a person with disabilities.”

She is on a panel that offers training for law enforcement agencies on how to help people with disabilities.

“It is something I’m really proud to be a part of,” Halstead said. “I think if she was still alive she would be happy I’m doing it.”

The week-long filmmaking contest was first held in 2013.

A record-breaking 95 submissions were entered this year, according to Easterseals, a nonprofit disability services provider.

“Now comes the most important part – watch, like, and share the films to support the challenge and help change the way the world defines and views disability,” Easterseals officials said on Twitter.

Prizes include $2,000 grants, computers and more, and winning films will be screened at film festivals. Entertainment industry mentorships are also available.

Finalists will be announced April 29, and an awards ceremony is set for May 5.

To watch “Grambo” go to youtube.com/watch?v=UwDsNTBa9IA.

The video can also be found at facebook.com/disabilityfilmchallenge, twitter.com/DisabilityChall, or instagram.com/disabilityfilmchallenge.

The theme this year was superheroes.

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