Man with Autism to be Featured in Documentary

Trussville, AL – 2010 Hewitt-Trussville high school graduate with autism Jesse Miller is going to be featured in a documentary that will be shown at the Sidewalk Film Festival. The documentary was written and filmed by Sonya Mitchell, produced by Carla Youngblood, and edited by Raza Kadri.

The 13-minute documentary titled “Jesse Speaks” came about when Mitchell noticed that Miller loved to greet people at the local YMCA. No matter what he was doing at the time whether it was dribbling basketballs or practicing jumps, he always came over for a hug.

 Mitchell told the Trussville Tribune that she first met Miller 2-3 years ago when he greeted her. Even though they only talked once, he remembered her,as he does everyone he greets. What’s even more amazing, Mitchell  soon found out, was that Miller has autism, a learning difference that usually makes socializing with others hard to do. Yet Miller does with a smile, and with anyone who walks into the YMCA gym. He asks about family, friends, and once the conversation is over, goes right back to playing. 

Always a watcher but never a competitor, Mitchell knew Miller had to be the subject of her first documentary for the Sidewalk Film Festival. She sent a letter home with Miller asking his mother De Miller for permission. She quickly and agreed and the filming commenced.

“Jesse Speaks” will debut Saturday, August 23 at 4:05 p.m. at the Alabama School of Fine Arts’ Dorothy Jemison Day Theater in Birmingham. Mitchell plans to show it at other venues as well.

To learn more about “Jesse Speaks” please visit the Trussville Tribune  website here. The original article was by Gary Lloyd.