What is the United States of Autism?
If ever there were a story that embodies the heart of America, it’s the story found in families and individuals affected by autism.
As people often fret about America, one can’t help but hear the daily drumbeat of how folks have their best days behind them. To many so-called authorities, the situations faced by individuals and families dealing with autism are hopeless, as they seek to define for others what is “normal.” Many people attempt to navigate a system that is corrupt and/or inept and lose hope while their support systems crumble, leaving them to go it alone. Yet, in the face of such obstacles, some manage to rise above the fray. What drives them? Who are these people and how are they changing their communities?
This was the quest of one man who undertook an 11,000 mile, 40 day journey across the American landscape to find the answers for his family and son. With interviews that include the widest spectrum of backgrounds – each conducted in the participants’ original language - the film weaves a broad and compelling tapestry across the spectrum of American life in all its faiths, disparities, colors, and cultures. What he learns along the way will change not only his life, but the lives of those he meets, forever. It’s a story about the best days that still lie ahead for our nation, the families, and the people who give America its heart.
Our Impact So Far
With no PR budget, we have already received media attention from Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, Kassem G, dozens of blogs and radio shows, and more. Our trailer received over 13,000 views to date and we have over 6,000 fans on Facebook.
You can visit the United States of Autism website, and our Facebook fan page, as well as Twitter: @usofautism
Who is behind The United States of Autism?
Many talented people have worked extremely hard the past 2 years to bring this to fruition, including but not limited to:
Sugey Cruz-Everts, JD - Executive Producer, President of the Tommy Foundation, Hispanic Coordinator for the PA Parent Education Network, and all around super mom.
Dan Sokola - Executive Producer, worked with actors including Johnny Depp and Dennis Quaid.
Rene S. Duran - DOP, worked on Ice Loves Coco, Nanny 911, Hell's Kitchen, Bachelor and his latest documentary which aired on Animal Planet, Street Dogs of South Central. His latest work is the editor for Jennifer Lopez and Marc Antony's "Q'Viva!"
Jesse Clark - Sound Engineer and Composer, served as the "sound guy" for bands like Nickelback, Kid Rock, Goo Goo Dolls, Moby and others.
Jamie Marshall- Art Director, independent artist that actually makes a decent living from her art she's that good.
Raysa Michelle - Up and coming music superstar who provides voice to the music of the film.
The Tommy Foundation - Started in 2005 by two parents of a child on the severe end of the autism spectrum, The Tommy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that has grown from a small dream in Lancaster, Pennsylania to now an award winning foundation with connections all across the United States.
How is this project funded? What's the funding for?
The initial funding for the film came from the Pepsi Refresh Project. This funding allowed us to get a crew across the nation on production, as well as most of the post production. However, to push this film through award winning media attention, we need full funding in these areas, though we ask for the first $10k to get things started.
If you may know of less expensive fees, or are willing to help in other ways, please let us know and we would be more then happy to discuss how you could help with the film!
What's the status of the production?
The film is fully finished. We are now looking for distribution as we head into 2012.
How can I help?
This film is only going to be seen with the help of you (autism community, independent film fans, and anyone who loves a positive, inspiring story). We want this to be your film just as much as it is ours. The more people who participate the more chance we have of getting the story out. To help out please Twitter it, "Like" us on Facebook, email this Kickstarter link and let your friends, families, supporter groups, and co-workers know about the film and this campaign. We would love for people to get involved on a local level. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information and become involved.
What happens if we don't reach our goal?
If we don't raise our goal, we don't get anything. Donors pledge the amounts, but don't actually pay until the goal is reached and the funding deadline has passed. We want to avoid this so please spread the word. Everything helps! When we meet our goal we will begin the media campaigns right away to get the film out to those around the country, and to you!
Tax Deductible Donations
In the USA, we are proud that our 501(c)(3) Fiscal Sponsor is The Tommy Foundation in Lancaster, PA.
All pledges made to this film are 100% tax deductible.
Would you like to play a bigger part?
To discuss playing a greater part in the film, please contact us directly on:
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