November 1 2007

Wishing On a Star Film Launch

Wishing on a Star workshop group

November 22nd 10.30 – 12.30pm at The Odeon Cinema, Bridgend

We will be marking Anti Bullying Week (19th-23rd Novemember) this year with a film screening event at The Odeon Cinema, Bridgend.

We will be launching our latest animated film, Wishing on a Star, made by young people with Aspergers’ Syndrome with Bridgend People First, showing other films made by young people exploring different aspects around bullying and relationships, enjoying a short drama by our young drama group Back2Back, meeting the film-makers and hearing about their experiences. This film festival event has been funded by Cymorth and sponsored by The Odeon Cinema, Bridgend. All welcome.

Tim Smith – Project Facilitator

In this project I worked with young people from Bridgend People First who suffered from Aspergers Syndrome, a form of Autism of which there is much public ignorance and misunderstanding. This was a very challenging project as I have to confess I knew little about Aspergers myself, but the project turned out to be one of the most rewarding that I’ve been involved in. For this I must thank Sarah and Kathryn of Bridgend People First for their help and support during the project.

With only one week to work in I had originally planned a very short and simple animation, especially as I was unaware of the group’s abilities. I needn’t have worried though as they turned out to be one of the most talented, committed and enthusiastic groups I have worked with and the end result is an impressive 8 minute animated film full of wonderful drawings and a very interesting and imaginative script.

The film follows the fortunes of a girl called Jessie who is suffering from Aspergers Disease. Misunderstood by her classmates and teachers alike Jessie’s life seems to go from one disappointing day to another. The night before her 15th birthday, however, she falls asleep wishing for a friend who would understand her. When she wakes up it soon becomes apparent that this day isn’t just another ordinary day in her life. The friend she wished for materialises, her teachers become aware of her talents, and her classmates finally realise that there is a lot more to Jessie than meets the eye.

The film was conceived, written and produced by the young people themselves and drew on their own real-life experiences of life with Aspergers. The result is a heartwarming tale that has already caused a few tears to be shed by those that have seen the film.

Tim Smith, Animation Worker