THE BUDDY SYSTEM, the (not so) little documentary that could, keeps chugging along, building awareness and compassion for the autism community. The film has screened at multiple festivals across the country, won “Best Film” at AutFest and was chosen as the closing night event at the U.S. Autism & Asperger Association World Conference (Autism activist, Dr. Temple Grandin was the key note speaker and it was an honor to spend time with her). We had an extra special experience at the Global Peace Film festival in Orlando. We attended shortly after Hurricane Irma wreaked her havoc and felt privileged to bring light and life to a community that was still recovering. We were also fortunate to have brought Cubby, a young autism assistance dog, along with us, because he brought comfort and many smiles to festival attendees. We’ve also been doing local community screenings at area libraries and schools and will have our Washington, D.C. area premiere this month at the Alexandria Film Festival. We’re about to kick off a year-end fundraising effort and are working towards a Gala Screening during Autism Awareness month in April 2018, which we will be followed by general distribution of the film on a television network and/or streaming platform. The “Be A Buddy” educational initiative is in development and designed for use in schools and support organizations. We’re still actively seeking supporters, sponsors, underwriters, and advisors, so if you’d like to help—in any way, please feel free to get in touch with director/producer Megan Smith-Harris at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Skurnik of The Youth & Gender Media Project has been traveling to colleges and conferences to screen his films about trans and gender expansive youth, accompanied by professional development trainings on how to create more inclusive classrooms for all children, regardless of their gender identity or expression. In addition, their film Creating Gender Inclusive Schools recently won the award for Best Documentary at the CMG Film Festival in West Hollywood.