ACT Today!’s Film Program is a 2 week program led by Inclusion Films in which 38-50 participants with autism, and up to 12 siblings, will make a 35-minute film. Creating a film is a monumental effort for any group, but for those with ASD, vital skills must be mastered to succeed, including cooperation, negotiation, listening, and taking direction. They will be introduced to many trades: animation, set design, script-writing, acting, prop/set building, wardrobe, make-up, budgeting and other tasks necessary for a film. They will learn the marketable skills of filmmaking, each leaving with a film credit, and an addition to their resume. For many, this will be their first experience of job training. And this has been a real route to employment for previous participants of Inclusion Films projects. Participants will reap rewards when the film is premiered at a red carpet event at the San Diego Film Festival, helping to shatter the misperceptions about the capacities of those with ASD.
The inaugural Autism Film Program ran in June 2012. From last year’s program, we know that the costs associated with providing a summer program for 50 filmmakers can be very expensive. ACT Today! would not be able to offer this program in 2013 without funding assistance. Expenses for the program include cost of facility rental, hiring Inclusion Films to bring in professionals and equipment to teach and provide participants with the means to create a short film, costs associated with providing participants a red carpet premiere experience at the San Diego Film Festival, among others.
ACT Today! is seeking funds through foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, and microfunding through the public. Should the Autism Film Program be selected for the Give for Youth platform, we hope to not only garner donations to make this program possible, we also aspire to raise awareness and educate the public about the abilities of those with ASD.
This project differs from most in that it is professional, and all-encompassing. While we are aware of local theater or singing groups for people with ASD, there is not, as far as we know, another program that teaches a subject so thoroughly and produces such professional results. Participants will leave the class with a film credit, professional experience, and will have learned skills that will carry with them into professional, social, and academic environments. They will also experience something few ever will: they will walk a red carpet at a national film festival, and watch a film they created, in a theater full of paying patrons, who ultimately will applaud their efforts. This particular program also features a strong role model: the animation teacher also has Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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Monday, February 18
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Friday, March 08