Pittsburgh – A film camp led by actor/director Joey Travolta which helps preteens and adults on the spectrum gain social and communication skills through filmmaking will be held for its seventh year this summer.
Designed for participants aged 10 to 30, the camp runs for two weeks wherein campers are provided with the opportunity to be involved in the entire process of creating a film from start to finish.
Travolta, brother of famed actor John whose late son had ASD, asserts that the process of filmmaking provides a form of therapy for campers as it requires them to both be flexible and effectively collaborate with one another.
Once the movies are completed, they will be incorporated into a stage performance and form the basis of a documentary that will be screened at Waterworks cinemas this winter. The number of participants has more than tripled in the 4 years that it has been held in Pittsburgh; many attend the camp because of the camaraderie that it allows participants to enjoy. As Elana Slesnick states:
“(At the camp) you learn that you’re not alone.”
Hence, while learning the art of filmmaking may be the theme of the camp, it also serves to provide participants with something even more important: the opportunity to make a good friend.