Sunday 30th April, 10-11.30am in Lupino Cinema (Followed by a panel on Autism and Representation)
The National Autistic Society invited aspiring filmmakers, film students and professional filmmakers to create original short films, to shed light on the real world of autism – uncensored and uncut – to help more people understand autism, the person and what to do. Filmmakers were asked to submit films which can be about anything to do with the world of autism (up to four minutes long). This may include showing how unexpected changes or social anxiety feel for autistic people, or how sensory overload can affect everyday life.
The Autism Arts Festival are delighted to have the shortlist from this competition at the festival. The winners in each category will be announced at an awards ceremony at BAFTA on Thursday 6th April (link), and information about the shortlist can be found below.
These films will be followed by a panel discussion on Autism and Representation.
Professional Filmmaker Category
Josh Brearley – Women and Autism (Winner)
Josh worked at the charity Fixers, with Jenny Brooks who features in this short film, and wanted to show that having Asperger’s syndrome is no reason to put limits on life. The 20-year-old from Leicester – who was diagnosed at the age of 13 – wants others with the condition to understand that they can still achieve great things. Jenny wrote and performed her own script for the ‘spoken word’ film created with Fixers in which she talks about her own life, and explains some aspects of Asperger’s from her point of view. Jenny wanted to show that while living with Asperger’s can have its challenges, it’s part of who she is. We sought to help her challenge misconceptions of the condition and show others who are diagnosed with Asperger’s that they shouldn’t feel ashamed.
Alexander Amelines – Amazing Things Happen
Alexander’s film gives an uplifting introduction to autism for young non-autistic audiences, aiming to raise awareness, understanding and tolerance in future generations.
Thomas Walker – CTRL
Thomas’s short film aims to present the challenges of understanding, accepting and learning through a narrative set in a computer repair shop.
Aspiring Filmmaker Category
Jenna Kannell – Bumblebees (Winner)
Despite being told as a child he would never speak or walk, Vance accomplished what doctors thought was impossible. But now he has a new challenge: dating.
John Clark – I have Asperger Syndrome – and what of it?
John’s short film attempts to recreate a sensory overload, but also candidly expresses his experiences living with Asperger Syndrome and how he fits in to society. Having a passion for telling stories of fiction and non-fiction has helped shape his voice and aspirations, seeking honesty, impartiality, equality and truth. Fascinated with the world around him and how he sees it, John’s title ‘and what of it’, shows is views that autism should be learnt, understood, accepted and taught and neither simultaneously an elephant in the room, or the centre of attention.
Emily Davidson – The Bigger Picture
Emily’s short film is about girls on the autism spectrum. She wants to challenge the world’s view of autism, hoping to help people think differently, challenge the stereotypes of autism, and understand that not everyone on the autism spectrum is the same. She presents an outlook on autism that ‘we can do whatever we put out mind to’.
Student Filmmaker Category
Nicholas Bayfield – Asperger’s Syndrome (Winner)
Nicholas’ experimental short ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ was made during his studies at Brighton Film School. It gives an insight into what people with Asperger Syndrome might be going through, and how they see the world.
Tamsin Parker- Force of Habit
Tamsin’s film is about her personal experiences, her differences from other autistic people as they are represented in the media, as well as her differences from other autistic women as she sees it. It’s about how she discovers and expresses herself through fictional characters (as illustrated by some of her own art).
Emily Marquet – The Power of Words
Emily’s film was designed, written and acted in by autistic, non-verbal young adults who wrote the film to express how it feels to live with their brains. She taught the students a workshop on filmmaking and captured this short film on camera and pieced it together. The National Autistic Society does not seek to endorse or comment on this particular communication method described in the film, or any other particular approach.