AutFest, the first film festival solely dedicated to an autistic audience and filmmakers, today announced its official program selections for its first annual film festival celebrating autism awareness “from spectrum to screen.” Presented by The Autism Society, AutFest will screen over 10 feature films and short films that promote autism awareness and/or are made by autistic filmmakers. AutFest will also honor Oscar-winning director, actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck and Oscar winning, Pixar Animation Studios filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera (Inside Out). AutFest takes place Saturday, April 22, Sunday, April 23, 2017 at the AMC Orange 30 in Orange, CA. Passes and tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased at autfestasa.com.
The 1st Annual AutFest International Film Festival is proud to present the following feature films to play in its 2017 program:
The Accountant / U.S.A. (Director: Gavin O’Connor)
Sun, Apr. 23 at 5:00 p.m. followed by Q&A with actor Ben Affleck
As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise. Cast: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons.
Destiny / China (Director: Zhang Wei)
Sun, Apr. 23 at 3:00 p.m.
Portrays conflicts in the lives of an autistic child and his mother. Cast: Llian Jingke, Feng Jun, Zhao Ju.
Inside Out / U.S.A. (Directors: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen)
Sun, Apr. 23 at 12:30 p.m. followed by Q&A with director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera
After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school. Cast: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black.
Jack of the Red Hearts / U.S.A. (Director: Janet Grillo)
Sat, Apr. 22 at 5:20 p.m.
A teenage con artist tricks a desperate mother into hiring her as a live-in companion for her autistic daughter. Cast: AnnaSophia Robb, Famke Janssen, Scott Cohen.
Po / U.S.A. (Director: John Asher)
Sun, Apr. 23 at 2:50 p.m followed by a Q&A with the director and actor Julian Feder.
A father grows apart from his special needs son after his wife dies. Cast: Christopher Gorham, Julian Feder, Kaitlin Doubleday.
Redha (Beautiful Pain) / Malaysia (Director: Tunku Mona Riza)
Sat, Apr. 22 at 12:15 p.m.
Upon the discovery that their only son Danial is autistic, Alina and Razlan’s world crumbles as they struggles to confront the harsh realities of raising a child disabled by a condition they hardly knew about. Cast: Harith Haziq, Remy Ishak, June Lojong
Swim Team / U.S.A. (Director: Lara Stolman)
Sat, April 22 at 3:25 p.m.
A feature length documentary that chronicles the overwhelming struggles and extraordinary triumphs of 3 young athletes with autism and shows how a swim team can bring hope to a community.
More films will be announced in upcoming weeks.
AutFest will conclude with a closing ceremony VIP reception on Sunday, April 23 at 8:00 p.m. at Cafe Tu Tu Tango (adjacent to the theater). A number of special awards will be handed out including honorary awards to Ben Affleck and Pixar’s Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera. Award categories include Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance, Audience Award and Best Autistic Filmmaker.
AutFest is also inviting student graphic designers to create a festival poster that depicts the festival’s theme “from spectrum to screen.” Winning posters will be used as the festival’s official poster as well as for official materials such as t-shirts and postcards. The contest is hosted by We Are Lions, a marketplace for products created and designed by individuals with disabilities. More details about the poster contest can be found at http://www.autfestasa.com/poster-art-contest/
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 Matt Asner.
AutFest sponsors include Hyundai, AMC Theatres, Bob Wright and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition.