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Actors With Autism Step Into the Spotlight in ‘Keep the Change’

Actors With Autism Step Into the Spotlight in 'Keep the Change'

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a project you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

Keep the Change

Logline: A man struggling to hide his autism falls in love with an autistic woman who challenges his desire to appear “normal.”

Elevator Pitch: The world needs a film that shows the intensity of emotional relationships between adults on the autistic spectrum. “Keep the Change” is a feature-length love story about David, an upper-class charmer struggling to hide his high-functioning autism. Forced to attend a support group for autistic adults, David falls in love with Sarah, a sheltered young autistic woman who challenges his identity as “normal.” After four years of intensive story collaboration with our neurodiverse cast, “Keep the Change” is finally ready to be shot as a feature film this summer.

Production Team: 
Writer/Director: Rachel Israel

Executive Producers: Summer Shelton (executive producer, “People Places Things,” Sundance 2015) , Anne Hubbell (co-founder, Tangerine Entertainment) and Amy Hobby (co-founder, Tangerine Entertainment)

Producers: Kurt Enger (Chief Officer Of Logistics, “Beasts of No Nation;” Production Supervisor, “Three Generations”) and Min Ding

About the Film: Film and TV provide social models to inspire individuals and society. But characters with autism are generally written as emotionally distant and passive in their lives, where caretakers dominate. Furthermore, characters with autism are consistently cast with neurotypical actors who simulate the appearance of autism. Such performances are typically defined by disability rather than by humanity. Actors with autism aren’t given the opportunity to represent themselves, and viewers with autism lack references for having purposeful, intellectual and emotionally-fulfilling social and sexual lives. We need more of a representation of what healthy lives on the autism spectrum can be.

Current Status: We’re deep into pre-production, as well as crowdfunding on Seed and Spark to raise the remaining funds to shoot in August 2015.

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