From Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, LIFE, ANIMATED is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. Owen’s story is a moving testament to the many ways in which stories can serve as a means of persevering through the dark times, leading us all toward the light.
Ciné-ONU was proud to present the Oscar nominated film Life, Animated to mark World Social Justice Day at the Italian Cultural Institute, Brussels, on February 14th to an audience of over 300, with support from the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights Europe (UNOHCHR), Autism Europe and Autisme Centraal.
A panel discussion followed, with Dima Yared (OHCHR), Aurélie Baranger (Autism Europe) and Peter Vermeulen (Autisme Centraal) who spoke about the subject of living with autism spectrum conditions.
The panel discussion opened with Peter Vermeulen saying, “We all live in our own worlds. Yes, autism makes you different, who cares! If we were all the same the world would be so boring!”
Dima Yared gave an insight into the efforts of the OHCHR to raise awareness of autism “What we’ve tried to do is raise awareness and also explain the approach that governments and societies should take” recognizing that the film carries a very strong, positive human rights message for people.
Aurélie Baranger spoke about the work of Autism Europe, acknowledging that society as a whole needs to understand more about autism spectrum condition “Raising awareness is a priority for Autism Europe. It’s about promoting an understanding of autism and that [they] are just like us! There is a lack of lifelong support. We should foster an understanding in society”.
Audience members were truly touched by this film, sharing their own personal experiences of caring for people with autism. One woman commented “I found the film very moving. I was almost in tears at certain moments”. Audience members reiterated the need for society to integrate and connect with those living with autism spectrum condition.
More information about autism spectrum condition can be found on the following websites:
The handout from our event is available here!
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