Film review by Dan E. Burns, Producer.
Dear readers and friends:
In grade school choir we sang, “There is a bomb in Gilead.” Or so I thought as a child. But as an adult, I understand that the key word is “balm.” Seemingly opposites – yet there is a connection.
On February 6 of this year my filmmaking team, Appleseed Ventures, premiered “Hide Your Love Away.” The story: “When a bullied, abandoned, autistic teen threatens suicide, his group home manager, an autism dad, must throw him a lifeline or sink in the storm.”
I’ve submitted ‘Hide Your Love Away” to festivals and friends. Several AoA editors and contributors gave feedback that helped shape the final cut. Praise has come from autism parents and advocates. A few examples:
- “Hide Your Love Away” is terrific and packs a big, satisfying emotional punch. It does much to raise autism awareness.” – Robert Hughes, autism dad and author of Running with Walker: A Memoir, and Walker Finds a Way: Running into the Adult World with Autism.
- “This film handles the issues of isolation and depression for those with autism with sensitivity and realism.” – Dianne Doggett, Organizer, Austin Autism Forum.
- “Hide Your Love Away” is powerful and gives you a glimpse into the reality and heartbreak of young adults on the autism spectrum and the people who love them. Beautifully crafted.” – Nancy Master, autism mom and long-time advocate.
“Hide Your Love Away” comes with both a bang and a balm. Maybe the title should be, “Give Your Love Away.” Because the breakthrough comes with … Well, take a look. Here’s the link.
To promote autism awareness, please watch this 17-minute film and “Like” it.
Director Statement – Linda Kay Leonard
I have had the pleasure and honor to collaborate with Dan E. Burns and a host of talented and passionate, amazing artists during our New Age of Filmmaking in 2020. Utilizing a cast and crew of only 10 artists, we created Hide Your Love Away as a non-traditional look at the world of autism, suicide and prevention. It may feel dark or even Gothic in nature, but the story represents the often realistic response and effort to navigate through the journey of saving a young man with autism from suicide, the sometimes clumsy efforts and the surprising and hopeful results of connection and empathy.
I began my journey into the world and community of autism several years ago when I cast and directed a web series for Dan, called Saving Hope (originally Saving Zero). I have, in the past, worked in many youth theatre groups with young artists with special needs, but I had never taken on this kind of a project as a director. What I found was a community open to educating others in compassion and understanding of the world of autism, and I discovered just how amazingly gifted and fragile the life of a person with autism can be. There is information and guidance and patience available for anyone who wants to explore that world with the intention of truly "seeing and hearing and learning" in order to bring a greater understanding of autism to others. I am grateful to be a part of this journey.
Linda K. Leonard
Director, Hide Your Love Away