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Review: If You Could Say it in Words [Asperger Love Story] - October Premiere
Posted on Thursday, September 11 @ 09:37:28 EDT by
WrongPlanet Tips
If You Could Say it in Words is a great new film about an autistic protagonist Nelson and his experience with love. The film is premiering at the Derby City Film Festival on October 8, 2008 at 9:00 PM. I wrote about my initial impressions of the movie and conducted an interview in February. You will also find clips from the movie in my previous article.

The film explores Nelson's Asperger's Syndrome without mentioning the diagnosis. The choice is intentional because many individuals with Asperger's remain undiagnosed. A recent documentary, Billy the Kid, similarly did not mention the protagonist's Asperger diagnosis, but If You Could Say it in Words is the first narrative feature film I've come across that explores Autism in such depth without hitting the audience over the head over and over again with the fact that it's about autism. Additionally, the film appeals to an audience greater than the autistic community because the questions it raises about love apply to autistics and neurotpyicals alike.



Alvin's performance as Nelson is quite possibly the most authentic portrayal of an autistic person that I've ever seen in the movies. Unlike the usual stereotypically overblown representation of autism so common in the media, Nelson's character more closely resembles someone you could know in real life. Nelson doesn't count cards at the casino and faces the same realationship problems that many of us have had. And it's quite likely that at least a couple people you know do have an undiagnosed case of autism. Autism occurs in 1 in 150 people and many more go undiagnosed. Despite what you may gather from the media, the stereotypical image of a child who cannot talk is an extreme and, like Nelson, many autistic individuals go through life without ever discovering that they are autistic.

It's refreshing to finally see a film that explores an autistic individual who isn't two dimensional. You'll find you have more similarities with Nelson than differences. And that's the way you should feel about a movie's protagonist because the best movies are the ones with which we can all relate.

Deliberate audio and visual choices emphasize the disconnect between Nelson and everyone else. The disorientating atmosphere created at times by the film in reference to Nelson reminds me of what it's like to get a sensory overload. Thus, If You Could Say it in Words proves that it is possible to make a movie about an autistic person without stereotypically relying on the character melting down every other scene.

I plan on attending the premiere in October and suggest you do the same. The director, Nicholas Gray has become an ally to the autistic community since he began working on this film.

For more information, here's the press release:


World Premiere of "If You Could Say It In Words" at Derby City Film Festival; Will Open Festival as First Feature Film

WHAT: World Premiere of "If You Could Say It In Words" at the Derby City Film Festival

WHO:  Writer/director and Louisville native Nicholas Gray
Actor Alvin Keith (Broadway and regional theater veteran), Marin Ireland (Obie-award winner, major roles in upcoming films The Understudy, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
Co-producers Katharine Clark Gray and Adam Eisenstein

WHEN:  October 8, 2008 at 9:00 PM
 
WHERE:  Louisville Memorial Auditorium
                970 South Fourth Street
                Louisville, KY 40203
 
CONTACT: Adam Eisenstein, 646-221-2254

LOUISVILLE, [date of release] – If You Could Say It In Words, a film written and directed by Louisville native Nicholas Gray, will have its world premiere on October 8 at 9:00 p.m. on the opening night of the Derby City Film Festival at the Louisville Memorial Auditorium.

If You Could Say It In Words is a nuanced, uncompromising look at a romance in which a painter with undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome challenges a young woman's conventional ideas and his own understanding of love.

Nelson (Alvin Keith) has Asperger's syndrome, a condition that impairs social function.  Undiagnosed, poor, African-American, and a painter, he is pushed to society's fringes.  He meets Sadie (Marin Ireland), a young woman with broken dreams who now treads water at a job that’s not her career, has a roommate who’s not her friend, and sleeps with her married boss, Mark (Gerry Lehane). A one-night stand grows into an unlikely romance wherein two people lost in different ways begin to find themselves through each other. But the conventional expectations imposed by others -- and by Sadie -- put their relationship in jeopardy.
 
Alex Plank, founder of autism advocacy website WrongPlanet.net, says “Alvin [Keith]'s performance as Nelson is quite possibly the most authentic portrayal of an autistic person that I've ever seen in the movies…It's refreshing to finally see a film that explores an autistic individual who isn't two dimensional.”

If You Could Say It In Words is the first feature film produced by A Chip & A Chair Films LLC, whose mission is to support the unflinching vision of film and theater artists. The company raised money for If You Could Say It In Words through an innovatively democratic funding structure -- selling shares in the film to individual investors at $225 apiece. They raised enough money initially to shoot only less than half of the film; so they shot a selection of scenes, edited, and then used the material to promote the film to investors, eventually garnering enough shareholders to complete the shooting and post-production of the film over the course of several years.

Nicholas Gray, Alvin Keith, and co-producers Katharine Clark Gray and Adam Eisenstein will be available for in-person interviews October 6-11 in Louisville. Phone interviews or a full press packet with photos from the film as well as further information about all cast and crew are available upon request.

Writer/director Nicholas Gray was born in Louisville, Kentucky and grew up all across the state (Lexington, Lebanon, Campbellsville, and Louisville). He graduated from Ballard High School and first studied acting with Walden Theater Conservatory. Virtually Nicholas' entire family is in or from the state, with ties going back to the time before Kentucky formally joined the U.S. Nicholas currently plans to return to Louisville this winter as director and co-producer on a series of awareness videos for the Autism Self-Advocacy Network. As part of the series, he will be profiling the teacher whose remarkable relationship with his autistic children first inspired Nicholas to write a script with an autistic lead role.

The film was shot by cinematographer Richard Sands, noted for his lighting direction of films by Francis Ford Coppola, Stephen Spielberg, Sam Ramie, Joe Dante, among others.

Other featured actors in the film include New York theater veteran Gerry Lehane, Yvonne Woods(Yale Rep, ACT, Alley Theater), PaSean Wilson (Another World, Striptease), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Drama Desk Award Winner for Jitney, Everyday People, Law & Order) Dana Snyder (Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force).


PRESS CONTACT:
Adam Eisenstein
Director of Marketing and Development
Co-producer, If You Could Say It In Words
A Chip & A Chair Films
646-221-2254
aeisenstein@chipchair.com

WEBSITES:
Movie: www.ifyoucould-movie.com
Company: www.chipchair.com
Film Festival: www.derbycityfilmfest.com


               


 
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If You Could... wins two festival awards (Score: 1)
by NicholasGray Monday, October 13 @ 23:18:27 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.IfYouCould-Movie.com
Just an update for the people following us via WP: At the Derby City Film Festival this past week, If You Could Say It In Words took home the awards for Best Feature and Best of Festival. Perhaps more importantly, we were able to get a lot of positive and useful conversation going in town about some of the issues autistics are facing right now. And in the case of the "moment that made it all worth it": Alvin and I had a luncheon with the heads of several support facilities in the area, some of whom provided us with informational packets for our lobby table. One of our audience had been looking for information on how/where to get diagnosis for a kid he knows, and we were able to provide him with a number to call. Anyway, we're very proud right now, and I thought I would share.



Re: Review: If You Could Say it in Words [Asperger Love Story] - October Premiere (Score: 1)
by Danielismyname Thursday, September 18 @ 07:43:55 EDT
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Some corrections: it's the most accurate portrayal of someone with Asperger's that you've seen. It would be a poor representation of someone with Autism, where Rain Man or Simon are far more accurate. Autism Spectrum Disorders occur in 1 in 150, which includes Autism, Asperger's and various conditions under PDD-NOS. The child who doesn't talk is just as common as the child with Asperger's; Autism and Asperger's equal a quarter of the spectrum each. It's best to use the term Asperger's when people actually have Asperger's, as it avoids misconceptions (Autistic Psychopathy can be used for Asperger's too).



Re: Review: If You Could Say it in Words [Asperger Love Story] - October Premiere (Score: 1)
by Jutty Thursday, September 18 @ 09:43:24 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.myspace.com/jutty1224
I attended a screening of Billy the Kid back in January. It was mentioned during a discussion after the screening that Billy was not diagnosed with Asperger's until after the filming.



Re: Review: If You Could Say it in Words [Asperger Love Story] - October Premiere (Score: 1)
by milhouse Wednesday, September 17 @ 13:21:57 EDT
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I'm glad this is debuting in Louisville. I'll be there!



If You Could Say It In Words' West Coast Premiere (Score: 1)
by NicholasGray Wednesday, March 11 @ 02:43:54 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.IfYouCould-Movie.com
For those that couldn't see it in Kentucky, this movie will be playing at a festival in Los Angeles at the end of the month. (Also, screening at an autism conference in Nebraska in mid-April. You can contact Adam Eisenstein for details about any screening, or visit us on FaceBook.) Thanks to the WP community for its continued support. -ng *************************************** An award-winning love story about an impoverished painter with undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome, If You Could Say It In Words will have its second public screening and West Coast Premiere at the Method Fest film festival in Calabasas, CA on March 29 at 7pm. If You Could Say It In Words previously screened at the Derby City Film Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, where it took top honors with “Best Feature” and “Best of Fest” awards by audience balloting. The film features: Obie-award winner Marin Ireland, who makes her Broadway debut this spring in Neil Labute’s reasons to be pretty and before that garnered rave reviews for Sarah Kane's Blasted [Soho Rep]. Broadway and regional theatre actor Alvin Keith, who has just concluded a three-theatre world premiere run of Daniel Beaty’s Resurrection (Arena Stage, Hartford Stage, and Philadelphia Theatre Company). The screening will occur at Founders Hall, Calabasas Civic Center, 100/200 Civic Center Way, Calabasas, CA 91302. For ticketing information see the Method Fest website. The Method Fest (www.methodfest.com), named after the famous "Method" school of acting, showcases breakout acting performances in character and story-driven films. More than 120 films that have premiered or played at The Method Fest, including recent box office hits Waitress and The Visitor, have received theatrical, TV or video distribution. A full press packet with photos from If You Could Say It In Words as well as further information about all cast and crew are available upon request, or at www.IfYouCould-Movie.com/Festivals. MEDIA CONTACT: Adam Eisenstein Director of Marketing and Development Co-producer, If You Could Say It In Words A Chip & A Chair Films aeisenstein@chipchair.com WEBSITES: Movie: www.IfYouCould-Movie.com Company: www.chipchair.com Festival Home: www.methodfest.com



Picture (Score: 1)
by Rainbow-Squirrel Thursday, September 11 @ 18:00:59 EDT
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Isn't the picture a bit too sad for a love story ? It gives me bad feelings. Just my opinion.



Re: Review: If You Could Say it in Words [Asperger Love Story] - October Premiere (Score: 1)
by hopelessaspielover Saturday, September 13 @ 19:19:17 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://www.xo-kisshuluvr-ox.deviantart.com/
wow this looks marvelous! I can't wait to see it. What I'm really curious about is, is it only showing that one night in Kentucky, or will it actually become a movie shown in theaters? I haven't seen any ads for it, so I'm really interested in knowing. Other than that, it looks great.



Correction of Typo (Score: 1)
by NicholasGray Thursday, September 11 @ 10:58:05 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.IfYouCould-Movie.com
Just a quick typo correction: The video series I am working on is for the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. The press release accidentally reads "Autism Self-Advocacy Network". This will be fixed before it is sent out formally next week. Also, if any of you reading this article are in the Louisville area, Alvin and I are looking to do some outreach visits while we are in town for the festival. We'd love to come and have a conversation with your support group, school or other service organization. You can contact Adam (info is included in the press release) or myself (just send me a message here at WP) to see if we can work it into our schedule. Many thanks again, Alex, for the kind words about the movie. Nicholas



Re: Review: If You Could Say it in Words [Asperger Love Story] - October Premiere (Score: 1)
by nicocoer Thursday, September 11 @ 17:33:20 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://nicocoer.livejournal.com
Hey Alex! Just wanted to point out at least one typo I noticed (pattern based thinker, sorry!) realationships = relationships. And you have an inconsistancy with the adjective use of Asperger's- you have it as both Asperger and Asperger's : "The film explores Nelson's Asperger's Syndrome without mentioning the diagnosis. The choice is intentional because many individuals with Asperger's remain undiagnosed. A recent documentary, Billy the Kid, similarly did not mention the protagonist's Asperger diagnosis, [. . .]" was this intentional? _____ On a more on topic note, I really want to see this! I wonder when it will be available to aquire for independant showings- if it's good, I'd like to show it in my county. :D



Re: Review: If You Could Say it in Words [Asperger Love Story] - October Premiere (Score: 1)
by Aspie_Chav Tuesday, September 16 @ 08:58:06 EDT
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Seen the clips, he doesn’t seem to have aspergers to me. And I don’t get asperger confused with Rain Man autism types either. Should have got me to play the actor, however I probably would not be a good actor because of my asperger traits.



Re: Review: If You Could Say it in Words [Asperger Love Story] - October Premiere (Score: 1)
by DavidSmall Friday, April 15 @ 09:49:39 EDT
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If You Could Say it in Words sounds like a fantastic film. I haven't never heard of it before. I can't believe it was released in 2008 and I am just now reading about it. I love that it explores autism without making it seem so obvious. Most people think of "Rain Man" when they think autism. This is entirely on end of the spectrum. There are so many forms of autism that society needs to be aware of. It sounds like if most people went to see this movie they would be able to compare their likenesses with the typical diagnosed or undiagnosed Aspergers person. I think that this movie would be a great movie to show during an event to raise awareness. I'm thinking of starting an Autism Indiana [www.littlestarcenter.org] event in my state to raise awareness on diagnosing autism. This would be a real eye opener for many people. I can't wait to see the movie for myself.


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