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"Both of us are just good at different things"
Parallels is a short film about two teenage brothers, one on the autism spectrum, and their very special relationship. Brothers Ray and Rick weather, and later recall, one seemingly normal day in their lives at school, out in the world, and at home. In talking about the events of that day with a counselor, they each discover something about the other—and about themselves.
Parallels has been making the rounds of film festivals. In 2019, Parallels was shown at:
Check out this PBS Behind the Lens special about Parallels
About the film
For the past three summers, Evolve Coaching’s Arts for Autism program has sponsored a young adult program for students who participated in at least one year of The Joey Travolta Film Camp. In the summer of 2017, the young adult group collectively wrote the script of “Parallels,” a short film about the special relationship between a young teenager on the autism spectrum and his brother.
“A lot of things about “Parallels” make me proud, but I am most proud of being an autistic person and representing a person with autism in our film,” said Joe Hnath, the 18-year-old actor playing the role of Rick, the brother with autism, in the film. “I have a brother in real life, so this experience has reminded me of my own family and it has inspired me to look into producing, directing, and acting as a career.”
The production of “Parallels” has allowed more than a dozen young adults to pursue their love of filmmaking while gaining transferable work skills that seek to improve and expand their opportunities for future employment.
“For me, it was very important to show people the real experiences that people with autism have that others may not think about,” said Jared Braun, the 21-year-old director of “Parallels.” “In our film, we cover a lot of real situations that I’ve experienced in my own life since high school. We show how a person with autism may struggle to receive a compliment, or how they may have to do specific things to prepare for their day. It was really important to me to capture a lot of the social situations that people with autism can find to be stressful or uncomfortable.”
The script, production, and filming of “Parallels” has been exclusively managed by local young adults with disabilities with industry professionals acting as their shadows. Post-production of the film concluded in January of 2019.