The writer/director Janet Grillo gives HollyBaby.com insight into why she feels the need to spread the word about autism awareness.
Fly Away tells the “poignant, yet humor-filled and gripping story” of a single mother (Beth Broderick) raising an autistic teenage daughter (Ashley Rickards) and the challenges this family faces as they transition her from childhood to young adulthood. The filmmaker Janet Grillo, who is the parent of an autistic child herself, chatted with HollyBaby.com about the importance of this project and sharing the story of the “complex and compelling journey we are on with our kids.”
“Fly Away is first and foremost a drama of the human heart,” Janet tells HollyBaby.com. “Anyone who has loved a child—or who has loved–can relate. Autism is the context. This is not an “issue” film. It is a human story which shares the goal of all dramas; to explore and express human nature. Thereby growing our hearts a little bigger, opening our minds an inch farther, and elevating that which makes us most human within us all; compassion.”
Although the film is not autobiographical, the message it presents is very close to Janet’s heart due to the fact that her son suffers with autism. “The child in the film is severely impacted and disabled, while mine is not,” Janet explains. “In fact, mine is emerging out of the Spectrum, after over a decade of intensive intervention and his own dogged determination and courage.” That’s incredible!
“Over 500,000 kids have been diagnosed with autism over the last decade, with a tidal wave to follow — another child is diagnosed every 15 minutes,” Janet says. “Most of these kids are fast approaching adulthood, as if falling off a cliff. What will happen for and to them in a society that is not equipped to support them? Most will outlive their parents, and few will ever live independently. This poses a health and human rights crisis not not only for our families, but for our entire society.”
Fly Away is currently screening it’s last showings in New York, Los Angeles and D.C. and will air for one week in New Haven starting tomorrow, April 22. More details HERE.
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