Into Film Clubs
Find out everything you need to know about starting an Into Film Club.
World Autism Acceptance Week (28 March - 3 April 2022) and the accompanying World Autism Awareness Day (2 April) should be at the forefront of educators' calendars, as we all seek to create a society that works for autistic people.
When approaching this topic, your first point of call should of course be experts in the field and we'd highly recommend the ideas, tips and resources from the National Autistic Society.
Film can also play a key role, both in bringing education to life for autistic young people and in authentically presenting their experiences to others. After all, film is a visual and accessible medium that facilitates empathy and understanding in a uniquely effective way. We've collected our favourite professionally and youth-made shorts below that do just that, all of which are available for free* on Into Film+.
First up is Joe Blandamer's brilliant stop-motion animation Overload, which won Best Animation at the 2020 Into Film Awards and depicts what it feels like to have autism and ride on a busy train. Joe is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and wanted to make a personal film that really shows how it feels to be on the spectrum.
Our profile on Joe and his filmmaking process is also really enlightening and he had this to say about what animation means to him, specifically as someone with Asperger's syndrome: "Animating has helped me with my Asperger's because it has given me an outlet to communicate my ideas, My new film Overload helped me explain the way my Asperger's affects me. I get so fixated whilst animating that I accidentally spend an entire day animating without breaks because it brings me such an intense feeling. If it wasn't for my Asperger's I wouldn't be animating!"
Available to stream
An autistic young man struggles with the pressures and anxieties of travelling on the London Underground.
Age group11–16 years
Check out Joe's inspiring story, his essential stop motion animation and other important resources around autism and film.
Reading time 5 mins
Next up are two professionally produced short films, both of which are most suitable for 7-14-year-olds. Louis' Shoes is a French animation that follows an eight-year old boy starting a new school. With the help of the teacher, he gets ready to introduce his class by removing his shoes. He explains how this makes him feel safe and gives the class an insight into his internal world, sharing his favorite hobbies as well as the things he fears. This short is told entirely from Louis' perspective, with the animated style depicting his experience of the world as an autistic person. The film is a valuable resource for discussing autism as well as how filmmaking can be used to tell stories from diverse perspectives.
My Brother Luca is also animated and sees a young girl narrating the story of her younger brother, describing him as ‘special'. She talks about his superpowers, such as his amazing hearing, fantastic memory and incredible work ethic. Despite the concerns of those around her, Luca's sister doesn't worry about her brother, safe in the knowledge of his abilities, and instead wonders whether other superheroes may have autism too. A warm, animated short which both serves as an introduction to autism and celebrates sibling relationships.
Available to stream
An autistic eight-year-old boy introduces himself to his new school class.
Age group7–14 years
Head to our profile of specialist school for young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), The Hollies, for more information on using film with your autistic students. Meanwhile, a guest writer from Into Film and one from the BFI came together last year to discuss how you can create autism friendly film clubs and screenings.
Into Film Club of the Year winner, The Hollies is a special school for children with autism spectrum disorder and engages with film in many unique ways.
Viewing time 5 mins
Our Into Film Club of Month for March 2022 is The Marion Centre, Cardiff, which is a resource space for secondary students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Reading time 4 mins
We've selected some of our favourite films on Into Film+ that can provide your students with a fun and rewarding treat before the Easter Holidays.
Reading time 4 mins
Sarah discusses using film with her ALN students, running training sessions for other teachers and sharing Into...View page
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