‘Autism In Love’ Documentary Film Is Raising Money On Kickstarter

from the Huffington Post Los Angeles: ‘Autism In Love’ Documentary Film Is Raising Money On Kickstarter
The Huffington Post | By Anna Almendrala Posted: 04/10/2013 3:46 pm EDT | Updated: 04/10/2013 8:30 pm EDT

LOS ANGELES — Romantic love is difficult enough to navigate if you’re neurotypical (Exhibit A: the entire rom-com genre). But if you’ve been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the perils and pitfalls of dating, relationships and commitment can seem like insurmountable chasms.

How do you apologize to your girlfriend after a fight if you can’t read facial cues? What does physical intimacy look like if you hate being stroked or hugged? These are just some of the questions that people with autism grapple with on a daily basis — and the subject of a new documentary called “Autism In Love.”

Independent filmmakers Matt Fuller and Carolina Groppa in Los Angeles, Calif. have been exploring the issue for the past 18 months, following four people and four couples as they look for love and try to keep it. Halfway through production already, Fuller and Groppa posted their production plan to Kickstarter Monday to raise money to finish the film. In addition to the video they shot making their case to would-be backers (above), Fuller and Groppa also posted a compelling preview of the footage they’ve shot so far.
Groppa got the idea for the documentary while working as an administrative assistant for Dr. Ira Heilveil, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA medical school. It was essentially a day job to support herself as she pursued acting and other film projects, Groppa explained to The Huffington Post.

But when Heilveil asked Groppa to help him with research for a new book, the stories she read about members of the autism community and their romantic adventures quickly became a passion project. She approached friend Matt Fuller (the pair had met at film school at the University of Central Florida) with an idea for a documentary. As of this story’s publish date, they are half-way done with film production.

“I was immediately hooked because I was always looking for stories about characters who want something it seems they can’t have,” said Fuller in a phone interview with The Huffington Post. Fuller, who has a background in film development at Sony and MBST Entertainment, also admitted that he had been looking for something “a little bit more fulfilling.”

“I’m in love with all of my subjects,” Fuller added. “When I immersed myself in their world I realized how beautiful it was … it’s an amazing opportunity to examine a part of human experience that’s important to us all.”

Still, like the wider population, not everyone with autism longs for romance, pointed out Groppa to HuffPost.

“Even in the neurotypical world, that’s not for everybody,” said Groppa. “Not everybody with autism wants [romantic] love.” Groppa hopes her film will help viewers “redefine [their] own conception of love — not just how it relates to someone with autism.”

The filmmakers hope to raise enough money to finish filming, hire an editor and send it out to film festivals. To learn more about their project, check out their Kickstarter page and watch the video below.

Support HeartChild on Kickstarter

“Heart Child” is a documentary film about twenty-nine year old Crys Worley, who is the mother of a nine year old autistic child, Sasha. It is a remarkable story about a mother’s struggles, not only with her own health, but the well being of her son. Committing to Sasha that she will never give up on him and inspired by the challenges parents of autistic children face, she started a non-profit organization, called A.Skate – Autism. Skating with Kids through Acceptance, Therapy, and Education. This film documents her extraordinary journey.?

You can help support Heart Child on Kickstarter or visit their website at heartchildthemovie.com to learn more.

FIXED documentary on Kickstarter: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement

What does “disabled” mean when a man with no legs can run faster than many Olympic sprinters? With prenatal screening able to predict hundreds of probable conditions, who should determine what kind of people get to be born? If you could augment your body’s abilities in any way imaginable, what would you do and why? From pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to neural implants and bionic limbs, researchers around the world are hard at work developing a myriad of technologies to fix or enhance the human body, but what does it mean to design “better humans” and do we want to? FIXED follows three remarkable people: Gregor Wolbring, John Hockenberry, and Patty Berne – a scientist, a journalist and a community organizer – each of whom has a personal story of disability and a passionate engagement in the debates around emerging human enhancement technologies.

Please join this growing community on Kickstarter and help finish FIXED. Every dollar counts. With your help, we can get this important film out into the world by the end of the year and begin sharing it with television, film festivals, colleges, high schools, disability organizations, bioethics and medical conferences and classrooms, and beyond!

UPDATE: The target amount has been reached, but the producers are still welcoming donations to cover the costs of developing curriculum materials to accompany the movie.