The National: A full house show of the documentary As One sparks new hope in UAE’s autism community
It was an emotional occasion for the team behind the new documentary As One, at the film’s premiere at ADFF on Saturday morning.
In conversation with The National last week, co-director Hana Makki had conceded that an 11am screening of a documentary about autism may not be the festival’s biggest draw.
The film received a standing ovation when the 10 autistic child stars of the movie completed their thespian journey on screen, then rose again as one as the kids were brought onto the stage to take their bows.
Catching up with some of the culprits post-screening, producer Danielle Perissi said: “For us it was really thrilling to see it in a room that was so big. We were shocked. It was 11am on a Saturday and so many people came, but I think that’s proof that this is an important issue and one that we should talk about.”
Audience members loved it too. Dubai resident Jamal Hassan said: “I loved it. It was a long time coming to get a cross-section of international parents talking about how important this is.
“My sister’s son is autistic and I’ve pretty much grown up watching them deal with this. It was a great film, and will hopefully open some eyes.”
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