You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

‘Wizard Mode’ Exclusive Clip: New Documentary Follows A Pinball Master With Autism On A Personal Journey

Robert Emilio Gagno struggles with balancing his real-world responsibilities and his competitive spirit.

Wizard Mode

“Wizard Mode”

Salazar Film

For many, the game of pinball is just another distraction, but for some, it’s a way of life. Enter Robert Emilio Gagno, an autistic man who has dedicated most of his life to pinball and mastering Wizard Mode, the hidden level only unlocked when a player completes a series of lightening-speed challenges. The new documentary “Wizard Mode” follows Robert on his quest to become a world pinball champion as well as his struggles to shed his youth and gain his independence. Watch an exclusive clip from the film below.

READ MORE: Pinball Player Overcomes Autism Stigma in ‘Wizard Mode’ Documentary

The film is directed by Jeff Petry and Nathan Drillot, who said that they wanted to make a film with a positive portrayal of a person on the autism spectrum. “What we learned from Robert was more than anything he wanted people to engage with him as a unique individual first,” the filmmakers said in a statement. “He described how often when meeting a new person he felt as though their preconditioned ideas around autism would affect his ability to make a genuine first impression. ‘I don’t want to just be autism forever’ is a line that Robert has said to us numerous times during the filming of ‘Wizard Mode.’ Our hope is that by sharing his life with a wider audience that Robert’s experiences will help to change preconceived notions that exist around autism.”

READ MORE: Vote for October Project of the Month: Will It Be ‘Wizard Mode,’ ‘As Far As The Eye Can See,’ ‘Pioneers in Skirts’ or ‘Stuck’?

“Wizard Mode” premiered at the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival this past May. It will be available on VOD and on iTunes this Friday, October 21.


Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox