April 2 marks from 9th of September 1989 World Autism Awareness Day, established by the United Nations. Globally, around this day, organizations that promote, support and fight for the cause of people suffering from autistic spectrum disorders, organizes events to highlight the issue of autism and also to increase the degree of social inclusion of those suffering this condition. This year the theme promoted at European level is “Together we break the barriers of autism. Let us build a accessible society”. By this message we wish to draw attention to too few measures have been taken to accessibility of services for this group of individuals.
On the occasion of this day, Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation organized “Days of Beautiful Minds” film festival in partnership with the Czech Center and ArCub. Through this event RAA team called for solidarity and awareness of the positive impact that social inclusion or the access to education have on development and maximizing the potential of each person with autism.
“Days of Beautiful Minds” festival was a unique socio-cultural event, whose goal was awareness on the issue of the people suffering from autistic spectrum disorders. In this way, the public had the opportunity to realize how the world around may seem overwhelming for people affected by autism.
Reached this year at its third edition, the event consisted of free screenings for four movies for the general public on April 2-4, whose subject is the life and situations more or less difficult that people with autism are daily facing.
The film festival prologue was represented by a solidarity march on 2 April organized by Romanian Angel Appeal team with other organizations members of FEDRA. In the march were distributed to the public information materials on autism and invitations to the film festival.
Later that day, has officially started the third edition of the “Days of Beautiful Minds” film festival at the Czech Center. There was presented first documentary – Normal Autistic Film – a production that refused to see autism as a diagnosis, approaching it instead as a fascinating way of thinking whose decryption requires a lot of effort and intelligence. Information about audience award at One World. At this first movie of the event were about 60 people that included both typical people and people affected by autism accompanied by their families.
In the opening of the documentary, Monica Lazurean-Gorgan, producer, director, co-founder of production company 4 Proof Film in Bucharest and former student director Miroslav Janek, gave a short speech in which she presented the public information about the film and the director.
The 3rd of April, although it was Monday, start of the week and working day, was a success in terms of audience for the two films screened at ArCub Lipscani because the audience at the presentation of the two movies was represented by 200 people.
The first movie of the day, Autism Love, a documentary very touching, has succeeded in raising public empathy by presenting the story of four adults with autistic spectrum disorders in search of romantic relationships. Being about introspection, communication, social relationships and especially about love, this movie is the normality proof of people with autism who tend to share the same interests and values as everyone else. Although it was scheduled at noontime time when most people would be at work or having lunch, the audience was about 90 people.
For the second movie of the day, Jack of the Red Hearts, screened to ArCub the cinema room was full, the audience being about of 110 people. The projection presented the parents fight with time and the sacrifices that they have to do having children with autism and it was also about the early intervention and the benefits that it has in development and inclusion rate of children with autism. The movie also exposed the idea of ambition to succeed regardless of the difficulty of the situations that children with autism and their parents are facing every day in society.
A word before the screening had Ioana Steam, an actress who has participated in various movies and shows, including High School Students, Mirrors, The Japanese Dog or Art.
The last movie of the festival “Days of Beautiful Minds” was unveiled Tuesday, April 4th at ArCub Lipscani. As the previous day, the film was attended by over 100 people, occupying the entire auditorium. The Story of Luke was a movie which ended the festival in an optimistic note. It is presented the story of a young adult with autism who is looking for a job and the true love. While working hard to get out in society and interact with others, young Luke manages to find a paid job and interact well with his family and others.
Each day of the festival after the screening of each movie, people were invited to taste smoothies and participate in a chat session related to movies watched. Also, before entering the auditorium at ArCub it was exposed during the event, a gallery of images related to autism awareness, with autistic children and their parents.