2009 disABILITIES Film Festival Archive

FILM

Autism: The Musical

OCTOBER 16, 2009
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM 

Synopsis

Winner of 2 Primetime Emmys!

In 1980, autism was a relatively rare disorder, diagnosed in 1 in 10,000 children in the United States. Now it is 1 in 150.

Autism: The Musical counters today’s bleak statistics with one woman’s optimistic pledge to lead of group of children with autism in defying diagnosed expectations by writing, rehearsing, and performing their own full-length musical.

Following five Los Angeles children over the course of six months, director Tricia Regan captures the triumphs and struggles of their family lives and observes how this musical production gives these performers a comfort zone in which they can explore their creative side.

Both on and off stage Autism: The Musical is a call to arms, bringing attention to a modern day epidemic, all the while celebrating the way the human spirit can overcome any challenge.

Running time: 93 minutes

Rating: Unrated


SPEAKERS

Elaine Hall – Founder, The Miracle Project

Elaine is an Educator, Writer, Consultant, Performer, and Professional Acting Coach for television and film who has written and directed over 30 children’s plays. Most recently, she was the Children’s Acting Coach on AKEELAH AND THE BEE. Her unique, positive relationship-building approach to children’s arts education has been featured in many documentaries and publications. She has served as a drama coach for Wildwood School, UCLA Bruin Kids, Pressman Academy, Walt Disney Studios, Universal Studios, ABC Television, and Nickelodeon.

Elaine is the founder of Kids On Stage, Inc. and is the mother of Neal, a very special child whom she adopted from a Russian orphanage, diagnosed autistic. When traditional therapies did not help Neal, Elaine sought creative people (actors, writers, musicians), to work with her son. She developed these methods to create The Miracle Project, a program featured in the documentary Autism: The Musical. Elaine now coaches both typical and special needs children with relationship, self-esteem and self-confidence issues, as well as coaching children and young adults seeking a professional career in the entertainment industry. Elaine is currently writing and producing a children’s CD celebrating diversity, positive thinking and kindness to others.

Tricia Regan – Director, Autism: The Musical

Tricia Regan is an award-winning director, producer and cinematographer of documentary film and television. She is the recipient of three Primetime Emmy Award nominations and the winner of a Primetime Emmy for Best Documentary for her feature length film, AUTISM: THE MUSICAL. In addition to two Emmy Awards, AUTISM: THE MUSICAL won Audience Awards at over a half dozen film festivals such as The Palm Springs Film Festival, The Newport Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival, as well as picking up a Best Documentary award at Cinequest and a Cine Golden Eagle Award. The film was short listed for an Academy Award nomination, and premiered on HBO.

Ms. Regan's film work has been theatrically distributed and broadcast on five different continents and in at least six different languages. Her credits include A LEAP OF FAITH, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996.

For television, Regan directs, produces and shoots for ABC, Fox, NBC, MTV, VH1, A&E, Lifetime and TLC. She has a masters degree from NYU and lives in Brooklyn, NY.


PROGRAM

OCTOBER 16, 2009

Film: Autism: The Musical

Speaker: Elaine Hall, Founder, The Miracle Project and Tricia Regan, Director, Autism: The Musical

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