Years ago, I decided that some of the work of my animation studio would be dedicated to something bigger, a cause that needed highlighting, an important issue, a story that I felt must be told. These opportunities rarely come in a massive commercial entertainment production – they are usually created for a smaller, underserved audience where interest is limited and financing unavailable. These gems become our altruistic, passion projects – they energize our artist creativity and evoke goodwill.
I was introduced to the book The Perfect Project by esteemed author Dr. Tracey Packiam Alloway and saw an opportunity to create a short film that could help improve understanding of children on the autism spectrum. Our newest passion project was born.
The Perfect Project, An Animated Short Film About Autism was produced to celebrate the superpowers of children on the autism spectrum. It tells the heartwarming tale of how Charlie, a young boy with autism and his classmates learn to collaborate on their science fair project. The story showcases recognizable areas of this developmental disability like difficulty with social interaction, expression of emotion and sensory overload while also focusing on a powerful memory for facts and events often seen in those on the spectrum. An autistic voice actor was cast in the lead role and animators on the spectrum were included in part of the production. I am most proud of how the film expresses to children what autism is, in a simple, direct and honest way with sensitivity and gentle humor highlighting the underlying universal themes of understanding and acceptance.
The Perfect Project, An Animated Short Film About Autism has been positively received by Autism Speaks Canada and has been featured at international animation film festivals. A recent report from the Children’s Media Lab at Ryerson University that examined children’s animated content in Canada re-ignited our passion for sharing The Perfect Project since the report discovered no main character in Canadian animation was neurodiverse. The motivation now is to continue Charlie’s story, building him into a spectrum superhero, to share knowledge, engage empathy and use the platform of animation to positively impact the perception and reception of autism.
This production comes at a cost so we are looking for partners, investors and ideas to further this passion project. Please reach out – there is so much more work to be done – [email protected]
See the short film trailer here: The Perfect Project Trailer on Vimeo
This article was originally published on LinkedIn. Click HERE to view