Princeton father and filmmaker James Christy Jr. has made a movie about what it’s really like to raise a child with autism, and it should be essential viewing for anyone who knows or loves someone with autism, or who wants to learn more about what it’s like to have a child on the spectrum.
“Love and Communication” will have its NJ premiere on Tuesday April 25 at the Princeton Garden Theater. The film is written and directed by Chirsty, a playwright, and follows the journey of parents desperate to find the right treatment for their son, only to find their efforts putting their marriage at risk.
The film originally opened as a play at Passage Theatre in Trenton in 2010. Audiences connected with the story so much that Christy was inspired to turn it into a film.
“So many parents told me they just had never seen a story that shows what it’s really like for parents,” he said. Word of mouth within the tight-knit autism community spread quickly and carried over to mainstream audiences. The film has since screened at festivals throughout the world, winning an Audience Award and Indie Spirit award from a sold-out East Coast Premiere at the New Hope Film Festival.
The Princeton screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker as well as autism expert Dr. Kate Fiske. Christy and Fiske, who is the author of Autism and the Family: Understanding and Supporting Parents and Siblings, are launching a unique model to use the film as a teaching tool to help professionals in the autism field better understand the personal impact autism has on families, and help them better serve those families.
The Princeton Garden Theater is located at 160 Nassau St. in Princeton. You can purchase tickets to the screening here.