Rachel Israel, award-winning writer/director of KEEP THE CHANGE, has tackled an important but all too often overlooked challenge faced by those with autism: finding, and keeping, love. The award-winning short film (featured below) premiered on PBS, and now the filmmakers are aiming to expand it into a feature-length production.
“We need to see characters with autism portrayed as the emotionally rich individuals that they are, driving stories that transcend the topic of disability and speak to humanity.”
“I was inspired to make this film by my personal relationships with our cast, all people on the autism spectrum who will be playing versions of themselves on screen,” says Rachel. “I’ve had a 12-year friendship with our lead actor, Brandon Polansky, and it was Brandon’s search for love that inspired this as a love story. Narrative films largely misrepresent characters on the autism spectrum, portraying them as disinterested in social connection. We need to see characters with autism portrayed as the emotionally rich individuals that they are, driving stories that transcend the topic of disability and speak to humanity.”
KEEP THE CHANGE follows a young man named David who tries to hide his disabilities but is forced to attend a support group for people on the autism spectrum. Despite his resistance, he falls in love with one of the group members — a young woman who challenges his desire to appear “normal.” At the end of the summer program, he has to decide whether to return to his old life, or to acknowledge his needs in pursuit of the woman he loves. The filmmakers recently launched a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of expanding this to a feature length film. Find out how you can help.
Watch the film . . .