AutFest International Film Festival announced its official program selections for its second annual film festival celebrating autism awareness “From Spectrum to Screen.”

Presented by The Autism Society, AutFest will screen over 16 feature films, short films and television programs that promote autism awareness and/or are made by autistic filmmakers. As previously announced, AutFest will also honor Netflix’s hit show “Atypical” and ABC’s “The Good Doctor” with Spotlight Awards for their special portrayal of lead characters who are on the autistic spectrum. The Visionary Award will be presented to SONY Pictures Entertainment’s JEFF FROST, President of Sony Pictures Television Studios, and Co-Presidents of Sony Pictures Television CHRIS PARNELL and JASON CLODFELTER. AutFest takes place Saturday, April 28 – Sunday, April 28, 2018 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, CA.

The 2nd Annual AutFest International Film Festival is proud to present the following features, shorts and television programs to play in its 2018 program. For AutFest full schedule, please click here

ATYPICAL / USA – Netflix (71 min.)
Sun. April 29, 3:30 PM
Created by Robia Rashid
Followed by Panel with Creator Robin Rashid (The Goldbergs, How I Met Your Mother); Actors Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Brigette Lundy-Paine (Downsizing, The Glass Castle), Keir Gilchrist (It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Anthony Jacques, Layla Weiner and Nikki Guttman; Executive Producers Mary Rohlich (Baywatch, Identity Thief) and Seth Gordon (Identity Thief, Pixels); Author David Finch (The Journal of Best Practices) and Autism Consultant Michelle Dean.

Atypical is a coming of age story from the point-of-view of Sam (played by Keir Gilchrist), an 18-year-old on the autistic spectrum searching for love and independence. While Sam is on his funny and emotional journey of self-discovery, the rest of his family must grapple with change in their own lives while exploring the questions: what does it really mean to be “normal”?

BARFI by Disney (2012) / India
Sat. April 28, 8:00 PM
Directed by Anurag Basu
Followed by “Love & Relationships” Panel with Lindsey Nebeker, Alex Plank, Dani Bowman, Tammy Klein, Chris Tenney, and Autism Consultant Tara Reisbaum
His parents named him Murphy, but everyone calls him Barfi. Always ready with a prank up his sleeve, he’s quite the charmer, especially with the ladies. In Darjeeling, Barfi is the talk of the town. Even though he can neither speak, not listen. His bittersweet relationship with two beautiful young ladies, Shruti and Jhilmil sets in motion a chain of events that will turn his life upside down. UTV Motion Pictures and director Anurag Basu invite you to witness the amusing, naughty, and sometimes crazy antics of Barfi. A heart-warming tale of selfless love and about finding happiness in the smallest things in life; that tells you no matter how tough your life may be, “Don’t worry. Be Barfi!”

BIG MOUTH by Spectrum Laboratory / USA (Short)
Sat. April 28, 10:00 AM
When you just can’t handle your friend’s gossip, rambling on, and negativity anymore, do what Domonique Brown does, write a song about it.

CIRCUMSTANTIAL / USA (Short)
Sat. April 28, 10:00 AM
Directed by Jesse Rapaport
As Kevin (Jesse Rapaport), a young, autistic homeless man, wanders through a Southern California beach community, he crosses paths with another TRANSIENT MAN (Mark Strohman), with whom Kevin trades goods, and later a young TRANSIENT GIRL (Mair Mulroney), who steals food from Kevin and assaults him.

DINA (2017) / USA
Sat. April 28, 3:45 PM
Directed by Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini
Dina’s getting married in a few weeks and there’s still so much to do. Shehas to move her boyfriend, Scott, from his parents’ house to her apartment, and settle him in to only the second home he’s ever had, all while juggling his schedule as an early morning Wal-Mart door greeter. She has to get her dress, confirm arrangements with the venue, and make peace with her family, who remain nervous for their beloved Dina after the death of her first husband and the string of troubled relationships that followed. Throughout it all, in the face of obstacles large and small, Dina remains indomitable. She’s overcome tragedy and found the man she wants and, at age 48, is bent on building the life for herself that she believes she deserves. Dina is unstoppable, a force of nature, and as the star of her own life story, she’s an unconventional move protagonist the like of which hasn’t been seen before.

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE / USA (Short)
Sat. April 28, 10:00 AM
Directed by Laura Hart McKinny and John McKinny
Extraordinary People chronicles a business that inspires its staff, families and neighborhood with the belief that meaningful jobs change lives. It explores the lives of six young adults, diverse on the autism spectrum, in paying jobs that maximize their unique individual skills while building their confidence and community.

THE GIRL INSIDE by Spectrum Laboratory (Short)
Sat. April 28, 10:00 AM
The struggle of a young autistic girl dealing with her two different personalities. The Girl Inside represents the voice of Abbey’s autism and how she sometimes wants to “rip it out of her head and give it to someone else.” She just wants to have what typical kids have.

THE GOOD DOCTOR (2017) ABC (43 min.)
Sun. April 29, 5:50 PM Developed by David Shore
Followed by Panel with Creator David Shore, Richard Schiff (Dr. Aaron Glassman), Nicholas Gonzalez (Dr. Neil Melendez), and Autism Consultant Melissa Reiner
Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join the prestigious St. Bonaventure hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, his only advocate, Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), challenges the skepticism and prejudices of the hospital’s board and staff when he brings him in to join the team. Shaun will need to work harder than he ever has before, as he navigates his new environment and relationships to prove to his colleagues that his extraordinary medical gifts will save lives. The series is from David Shore House, and Lost, and Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim.

MY GROWN UP FAMILY AND AUTISM / UK (Short)
Sat. April 28, 10:00 AM
Directed by Fran Landsman
Fifteen years ago I made an award-winning film about an extraordinary family. Jacqui Jackson lived alone with her seven children, five of whom had a form of autism. I wanted to return to find out what becomes of autistic children when they become adults. What I discovered was both a heartbreaking and heartwarming story of love and determination.

THE ODD ONE IN (Short)
Sat. April 28, 10:00 AM
Directed by Georgia Pfasciale
Three individuals with autism share their stories about their desires, challenges, and accomplishments. The documentary also questions what it means to be aware of autism versus understanding it.

PLEASE STAND BY (2017) / USA (93 min.)
Sun. April 29, 10:30 AM
Directed by Ben Lewin
Followed by panel with Director Ben Lewin (The Sessions), Writer Michael Golcamo and Autism Consultant Elaine Hall
A young autistic woman runs away from her caregiver in order to boldly go and deliver her 500-page Star Trek script to a writing competition in Hollywood. On an adventure full of laughter and tears, Wendy, played with exquisite delicacy by Dakota Fanning, follows the guiding spirit of Mr. Spock on her journey into the unknown. “It is there for us to conquer, not to fear.”

POWER RANGERS (2017) / USA (164 min.)
Sat. April 28, 12:45 PM
Directed by Dean Israelite
Followed by Panel with RJ Cyler (War Machine) and John Gatins (Flight)
The story follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove—and the world—is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.

PURSUIT OF JUSTICE (2018) / USA (Short)
Sat. April 28, 10:00 AM
Directed by Greg Byers
‘Pursuit of Justice’ tracks the advocacy of civil rights attorney Thomas F. Coleman, clinical psychologist Nora J. Baladerian, and a growing network of activists as they travel the country promoting reforms in adult guardianship proceedings involving seniors and adults with various disabilities.

RANDY’S CANVAS (2018) / USA (102 min.)
Sat. April 28, 5:50 PM
Directed by Kevin Schmidt
Randy’s Canvas tells the fictional story of a young man who was abandoned by his birth parents at a very young age who lives with his “brother from another mother” Henry, in the big city. Randy is an incredibly talented artist, has a kind heart and autism. When he falls in love for the first time, his life begins to spin out of control as he tries to deal with a roller coaster of emotions and first-time experiences.

ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ (2017) / USA (162 min.)
Sun. April 29, 1:00 PM
Directed by Dan Gilroy
Roman J. Israel, Esq. is a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when a turbulent series of events challenges the activism that has defined his career. Colin Farrell costars as the ambitious, monies lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm.

SISTERLY (Short)
Sat. April 28, 10:00 AM
Directed by Nina Vallado
Nina and Lisa are two sisters destined to be the best of friends. When Lisa is diagnosed with autism at the age of two, Lisa’s voice disappears, and she is unable to communicate. Nina and Lisa search for connection, intimacy, and sisterhood despite the challenges of autism.

AutFest will conclude with a Closing Award Reception on Sunday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Writers Guild Theater. As previously announced SONY Pictures Entertainment will be receiving the Visionary Award presented to JEFF FROST, President of Sony Pictures Television Studios, and Co-Presidents of Sony Pictures Television CHRIS PARNELL and JASON CLODFELTER. ABC’s The Good Doctor joins Netflix’s Atypical to receive Spotlight Awards, honored for their exceptional portrayal of autism in a positive light to help increase understanding and acceptance of people on the spectrum. Additional Festival awards include Best Film, Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress as well as an Audience Award and will be presented to filmmakers at the AutFest Closing Reception. Past AutFest honorees include BEN AFFLECK (The Accountant) and Pixar’s PETE DOCTER and JONAS RIVERA (Inside Out). For complete festival screening and event schedule and more information, please visit autfestasa.com. The Writers Guild Theater is located at 135 South Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills.

Celebrating autism awareness “from spectrum to screen,” AutFest Film Festival is now in its second year. Its mission is to further advance the well-being of all with an autism diagnosis, as well as to educate the nation about autism and the important need to fully respect and value each person with autism. AutFest celebrates films and television programs that promote autism awareness and support autistic filmmakers and artists that have chosen film as their profession.

AutFest also invited student graphic designers to create a festival poster that depicts the festival’s theme “from spectrum to screen.” The winning artwork, created by Cynthia Abigail Romero, will be used as the festival’s official poster as well as for official materials such as t-shirts and postcards.

AutFest Honorary Committee Members include seven-time Emmy winner and autism advocate Ed Asner, actress Kristen Bell (House of Lies), actor Dax Shepard (CHIPS), Emmy-winning actress comedian Sarah Silverman, Golden Globe-nominated actor Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), Emmy-nominated actor Gary Cole (Veep), Autism Speaks co-founder Bob Wright, The Suzanne Wright Foundation president Liz Feld, Warner Bros. president and CCO Peter Roth and Autism Society’s VP of Development Matthew Asner.

AutFest 2018 is proudly sponsored by GOLD: Hyundai, State of Qatar, Sony Pictures Entertainment; SILVER: Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Lindamood Belle, Netflix; FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL: ABC, Autism Pie, Bob Wright, Center for Developing Minds, ICM, Saban, SAG-Aftra; TRIBUTE BOOK: PCW Props, Shuman Management; MEDIA SPONSORS: ABC, Variety, INKIND: Foreo, MAC Cosmetics, One-Hope Wine, Penta Water, Runway Tech, Sevenly, Sprouts; GIFTBAG: Art by Luis, Designs by Siri, Lindamood Belle, Thikkun Spa.

TICKETS AND COMPLETE AUTFEST SCHEDULE: To purchase festival passes or tickets, please go to autfestasa.com.

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