March 15, 2017

viewDo you remember your first kiss?

A brand new independent film sponsored by arts charity Fractured Atlas is set to give its audience a unique insight into the adult milestone of falling in love, but through the perspective of a young girl with autism.

Writer and director, Luigi Campi, was originally drawn to the idea of a film after watching Amanda Baggs YouTube video, In my Language as part of a visual arts project that he was working on. The first two minutes of powerful video depicts Ms Baggs flapping, humming and exhibiting repetitive behaviour, followed by a translation of what she defines in type as her language and how she sees the world around her. She is non-verbal but can type at 120 words per minute.

She explains:

My language is not about designing words or even visual symbols for people to interpret. It is about being in a constant conversation with every aspect of my environment, reacting physically to all parts of my surroundings.

Far from being purposeless, the way that I move is an ongoing response to what is around me….The way I naturally think and respond to things looks and feels so different from standard concepts or even visualization that some people do not consider it thought at all. But it is a way of thinking in its own right.

This intrigued Luigi, and inspired him to write what he calls a romantic thriller, with a difference – the main character is autistic. The story is told directly in the first person through the eyes of Sam, an 18 year old girl who lives in a residential care home.

Sam has already been cast, and will be played by up and coming American actress India Salvor Menuez who recently starred in Olivier Assayas Something in the Air.

Luigi told Autism Daily Newscast:

” We have been in contact with a number of autism associations in the US, I am probably the least versed in autism but something that astounded me about this project is the amount of people who have personal experience with autism and how strong the community is.

Autism to me is a magnification of a state everyone is living in. And I wanted to tell this unique and beautiful story from the perspective of Sam who was quite isolated and who had problems communicating”

Producers Andrew Hauser  and Laura Wagner both have personal experience with autism, Laura having three siblings diagnosed on the spectrum.

To find out more, please visit the film’s website, or their facebook page on:

We have a full in depth interview with crew of the film in January’s edition of ASDigest, available on apple news stand on December 20.

About the author 

Shân Ellis

Shân Ellis, is a qualified journalist with five years experience of writing features, blogging and working on a regional newspaper. Prior to working as a journalist, she was a ghost writer for top publishers and was closely involved in the editing and development of book series. Shân has a degree in the sciences, and 5 A levels. She lives in the UK and is the mother of an autistic child.

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