As a result of tireless advocacy by Autistic activists and their allies, the very meaning of Autism is shifting from a highly pathologized and misunderstood medical diagnosis to an identity that celebrates natural brain differences and embraces diverse ways of being. For the first time in this festival’s history we are
pleased to present a program of films about Autism directed entirely by Autistic individuals. These vibrant, multifaceted autobiographical narratives address the myths and stereotypes associated with Autism, illuminate the barriers Autistic individuals encounter in day-to-day life, and highlight their astounding resilience in the face of these challenges.
LISTEN (Communication First | 2021 | USA | English with described audio | 5 min) This short film was produced by a multinational, nearly 100% Autistic team in response to Sia’s controversial film Music.
THE RED HOT INSIDE (WHAT IT’S LIKE TO GROW UP WITH AUTISM)
(Jennifer Msumba | 2018 | USA | English | 4 min) Jennifer Msumba tells the story of growing up with autism and OCD and what it was like being placed in psychiatric hospitals, group homes and residential schools.
S/PACE (Estée Klar & Adam Wolfond | 2019 | Canada | English with described audio | 16 min)
A poetic exploration of autistic movement as expression, created by Adam Wolfond, a non-speaking writer/poet/artist, in collaboration with his neurodivergent artist/researcher, doctor of Critical Disability Studies, mom Estée Klar.
HOLE (Gil Goletski | 2018 | Canada | English | 6 min) HOLE is a film depicting the artist’s experiences as a transgender person on the autism spectrum.
FEARS & DREAMS (Chris Gerry | 2020 | Canada | English | 3 min) In Fears & Dreams, an Autistic man shares his anxieties and hopes about parenthood.
UNTITLED (Raya Shields | Canada | 2021 | English | 3 min) This rich multimedia narrative uses art, poetry, vocalization and movement to convey the filmmaker’s experiences of school as a child and as a university student.
GASOLINE RAINBOWS (V Vallieres | 2021 | Canada | English | 5 min) This experimental animation represents the creator’s experience of Autism, and how it is connected to their non-binary/trans gender identity, maladaptive coping strategies and mental health.
WE ARE HERE (Rowan Duncan | 2020 | Canada | English | 6 min) This poetic manifesto explores what it means to fit in or stand apart, and honours Autistic resistance and resilience.
UNSPOKEN (Emma Zurcher-Long | 2019 | USA | English with described audio | 28 min)
14-year-old Emma Zurcher-Long sees and hears the world, as she puts it, in ‘Hi-res, technicolor and surround sound’. As a chronicle of a teenager coming into her own, and as a work advocating for the rights of all peoples, UNSPOKEN is a lesson on, and celebration of, living an authentic life.
Keywords: #ActuallyAutistic | Advocacy | Autism | Non-speaking | Family