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Young Filmmakers with Autism Introduce a Whole New Universe in Films “Made by Me, Not About Me”

Contact: Nancy Bent
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Young Filmmakers with Autism Introduce a Whole New Universe in Films “Made by Me, Not About Me”

Talking Pictures Preview

“The movies shown last year at Talking Pictures literally jumped off the screen in a burst of creativity and inspiration.” Richard Crouse, host of CTV’s Pop Life. “Talking Pictures Gets 5 out of 5 stars!”

Toronto, ON, November 9th 2017 – The fictitious Jarod Taylor may look like other teenagers, but Thomas Kriegler, a cinematic phenom who also has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), gave his leading character superpowers and a perspective not seen anywhere else on the big screen. Though there has been a recent increase in characters with ASD on screen, the Talking Pictures Film Festival coming up on November 26th is the only place where filmmakers like Thomas can share stories that are “Made by Me, Not About Me.” He explains, “Making films and animations allow me to show what I’m really interested in and how much I really care about them.”

Tracey McGillivray, Kriegler’s mother, discovered her son’s natural cinematic talent at the young age of 8. She was initially worried about her child spending too much time in front of the TV until she saw his first production in her living room. “With a Nintendo DS, he would build sets with Lego, set up flashlights for effects and make stop motion pictures. I couldn’t believe how many camera angles he used and how he edited them together.” McGillivray recalls, “It was a fight to teach him to speak, but he always understood visuals.”

Kriegler pursued the craft for years on his own, but it was when he collaborated with other filmmakers at Geneva Centre for Autism and Spectrum Productions camp that he saw his storytelling ability expand. “Now I’m learning how to make things with other people and it’s improving my skills with film and animation.”

Dan Ten Veen, Spectrum Productions “Director of Another Sort” arranged training and mentoring to enable Kriegler to write, direct, and perform in his own short film. “He had a clear vision, he just needed the tools and the opportunity to tell his story.”

Kriegler’s vision for his character Jarod Taylor and alter ego “The Strike” has already expanded before the film’s debut. Kriegler reached out in character to the Spectrum Cinematic Universe, a cast of superheroes created by other filmmakers with ASD. A crossover is in the works, but before then, Kriegler will get his first live audience reaction to his film.  “I’m mostly curious to see what other people think of them.”

Kriegler, and other filmmakers with ASD, will have their films reviewed by host and film expert Richard Crouse, at the Regent Theatre on November 26th. Tickets are available at talkpic.ca

About the Organizations:

Geneva Centre for Autism is an international leader in the development and delivery of clinical intervention services and training.  As a full service agency, Geneva Centre for Autism offers personalized, strength based programming for over 3,000 individuals and families in Toronto. It’s Training Institute and International Autism Symposium build professional capacity worldwide to empower all individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to reach their full potential.

Spectrum Productions provides an inclusive camp and programming environment where youth and young adults with autism develop their creative, technical, social and vocational skills as a pathway to pursue their passions in media and video production, either as a hobby or a profession. Many of Spectrum Productions full-time and part-time production crew are graduates of the camp program. The Montreal based organization has partnered with Geneva Centre for Autism to offer this one of a kind summer camp for the first time in Toronto