Odeon cinema, Stoke-on-Trent Festival Park, Monday Jan 20 – The premiere of Kevin Healey’s Autism Anti Bullying Film took place on Monday at the Odeon Cinema in Stoke on Trent. The film was made by Steve Cranston of Lilac Films.
Kevin Healey is a leading autism campaigner and advocate who at present is campaigning for changes to laws in the UK and globally regarding the issues of cyber bullying and online hate crime.
Monday saw the premiere of his documentary which includes interviews with celebrities who have personal experience of bullying, autistic individuals, parents of autistic children and Kevin Healey himself talking about his own experiences and narrating the film. Kevin has Asperger’s Syndrome and has suffered bullying all of his life. Kevin is still receiving online abuse on twitter and has reported many vile impersonation accounts. He recently set up an online petition to get his account verified.
The documentary is part of his ever expanding autism anti bullying campaign which can be found at autism-campaign.co.uk
Celebrities in the film include actress and presenter Dawn Lowe, celebrity personal trainer Dave Gentry, and TV psychologist Pam Spurr.
Christopher Maloney from X Factor fame is also featured in the documentary and Dave Gentry had this to say after watching him in the film.
“Christopher Maloney’s story in particular was very heart rendering and a great example of why laws need to be changed.”
Autism Daily Newscast spoke exclusively to Dawn Lowe, Dave Gentry and Kevin Healey’s PR manager Hayley Smith.
Dawn Lowe told us why she became involved in the film:
“I got involved in Kevin’s campaign because of the bullying element. I was bullied as a child, teenager and adult. The way it makes you feel is awful and I never want others to feel that way. Also in life, the bullies are always protected, for some reason and the ones who are bullied mostly get away with it.”
She then adds:
“People with autism are more vulnerable and may not be able to cope in the same way as others.”
Dawn then spoke about the premiere:
“The premiere was amazing – so powerful it sent goosebumps to me watching it. I was so proud to be part of it and the fact we are all working together to make a difference, raise awareness and to try and change the laws to protect people from being bullied.”
Dave Gentry had this to say:
“This was a very emotional evening for Kevin after campaigning for over a year to get the laws changed to protect vulnerable people against hate crime especially through social media. Kevin’s campaign has constantly gained momentum over the last year and will soon be heard in parliament. The Premiere was a shortened version of the documentary, but was very powerful and emotional in its message to all that the laws need to change.”
“Kevin Healey is an exceptional human being under taking a huge task and should be admired for his outstanding efforts to help all effected by hate crime. This documentary will hit home to all how important it is to get the laws changed and I know Kevin will never give up until this happens. Personally I am proud to be a part of this documentary and will be supporting Kevin all the way until his goal is achieved.“
Hayley Smith told us:
“Listening to each interview, hopefully made the audience realise how important and relevant Kevin’s campaign is. Cyber bullying, especially against those with autism can be extremely detrimental, and the Government and social media platforms need to take responsibility and protect online users. Kevin Healey is an amazing person, and I am so proud of everything he has achieved.The documentary proves the extreme development of Kevin’s campaign over the last year.”
After the film has its second premiere in London next week on Monday Jan 27 the film will go live on YouTube, Tuesday Jan 28, on its very own channel. Kevin posted this on his Facebook page
‘Really excited about this launching next Tuesday, will have over ten individual interviews and the main film you have all been waiting for subscribe now!’
You can subscribe by clicking here
Dawn Lowe had these final words to say:
“I will continue to support Kevin and the team and will carry on the fight. I feel very honoured to have been asked to take part and to have gained new friends.”
To book free tickets to the London premiere at Cineworld Enfield click here
Kevin is currently pushing for a bill in Parliament to make cyber bullying a criminal offence. The second phase will be debated in the House of Commons on February 28.
All photographs from Monday’s premiere courtesy of Kim Rix photography kimrixphotography.co.uk