ATLANTA — A short film that features a 19-year-old with autism as its lead actor won ‘best film’ at the The Disability Film Challenge, a national competition wherein competitors where only given 48 hours to shoot and edit their own films.
The challenge’s winner, ‘Bumblebees’, is a three-and-a-half minute film that stars Vance Kanell, and which was directed and written by his sister, Jenna Kanell.
According to Jenna who is four years older than her brother:
“We were given romantic comedy, which stressed me out.”
Jenna decided to create a story where her brother would be doing something he hasn’t done before. In the movie, Vance says:
“I’ve never been on a date. But I haven’t seen her since. What do I do?”
The film then continues to follow Vance as he prepares himself for his first ever date, with the help of his real-life cat Goldie, who also stars in the short film as his date adviser.
All in all, Jenna thinks her brother did really well in the film.
‘Bumblebees’ was inspired by Vance, whom everyone thought will never be able to speak or walk or write for the rest of his life. Jenna explains that their parents used to call him a bumblebee, as he “wasn’t supposed to be able to walk or read or speak or write.”
As for those longing to find the ‘perfect’ date, Vance left a piece of advice:
“You don’t need to find somebody perfect or be somebody perfect, you just have to find another bumblebee to fly with.”
You can watch Bumblebees below.
Source: Jaye Watson: 11 Alive Atlanta: ‘Bumblebees’ film stars Atlanta teen with autism