(l-r) Alison Singer, Suzanne Wright, Lauren Thierry, Jesse Mojica, Katie Wright, Michelle Burns, Bob Wright at screening (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)
Autism Speaks Co-founders Bob Wright and Suzanne Wright, actor Joey Pantoliano, Sundance Channel CEO Larry Aidem, and Motion Picture Association of America President Dan Glickman were among those on hand for the sold-out world premiere of the new documentary Autism Every Day at the Sundance Film Festival on Sun., Jan. 21 in Park City , Utah. (Click here to read reviews of the film).
The Wrights, who are also executive producers of the film, were joined at a press conference immediately following the screening by Autism Every Day director/producer Lauren Thierry and Alison Singer, Katie Wright, Jesse Mojica and Michele Burns, parents featured in the documentary.
Autism Every Day is a truthful, unvarnished portrayal of the 24-hour-a-day challenges faced by families as they confront the heartbreak of autism with uncompromising hope and unconditional love. The film, which is being screened out of competition, was directed by Lauren Thierry of the October Group and co-produced by Ms. Thierry and Eric Solomon of Milestone Video. A twelve-minute version of Autism Every Day was first produced for, and screened at, A New Decade for Autism, a fundraising event held May 9, 2006 in New York City to benefit Autism Speaks and the New York Center for Autism Charter School. The film was intended to be shown one time only, but was subsequently broadcast by Don Imus on his MSNBC and nationally syndicated radio programs. Word of the film spread quickly on the Internet, first among members of the autism community and then beyond, generating tens of thousands of views on various web sites and blogs.
The tremendous online popularity of Autism Every Day led Thierry and Solomon to create a longer, 44-minute version of the film that included additional families and their compelling stories. Funding for this expanded version was provided by Autism Speaks. Additional sold-out screenings will take place Jan. 22 and 27.