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Top Spot of the Week: CoMPANY's Dean Freeman Chronicles "Andrea" For Children Of The Fairies Foundation

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Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Apr. 5, 2018

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To heighten awareness for those struggling with the care of autistic family members, director Dean Freeman--who’s with L.A.-based CoMPANY Films--chronicles Andrea Antonello, an extraordinary young Italian who has authored four books and become an influencer in a world where one out of every 68 born today is diagnosed having the developmental disability. 

Andrea is a stirring and genuine short film of an author and painter who happens to be autistic. Freeman directed the film to heighten awareness for “I bambini delle fate,” (Children Of The Fairies Foundation), a non-profit organization in Italy that encourages social inclusion and support for autistic children and their families.

In this short film, viewers get a peek inside the daily life of Andrea, powered through his day by an endless stream of love from his father Franco. Andrea begins his day bicycling, then swimming. He helps a young female musician with her violin practice. In the film Andrea is completely non-verbal, yet through his energy sends a message to all those around him. The day continues, his dad helps him to brush his teeth, shower and wash his hair--everything a normal person takes for granted. They kayak paddle board together on the local river, and then play WRITE  on the computer. Through it all, Andrea acknowledges that he is different with his words imprinted across the screen, random vowels falling away to symbolize his different world. “Man suffers if he does not dream,” Andrea states in one part. “I am a revolution of emotions,” he says in another. The day ends with Franco taking Andrea on a motorcycle ride, then onto some painting and more bicycling. “Dad, I want to be near you, smothering you with cuddles,” he says.

Freeman shared, “Andrea has become a symbol of hope for young people struggling with autism. His Facebook page has over 500,000 followers....There’s this idea that if you’re autistic, the chances of you contributing to society are finite, but Andrea proves this is not the case.

Freeman also wanted to capture the relationship between Andrea and his father Franco. “He has an amazing love for his son,” said Freeman. “Franco gave up running a lucrative advertising space sales company, just so he could spend more time with Andrea. and run the non profit together, They have become celebrities of a sort. What’s important to me is to help people everywhere understand the challenges and sacrifices made to support those with autism. Andrea summed it up best, ‘Our life is beautiful. but we suffer a lot every day. I would like this to be remembered too.’”

The short kicks off April which is Autism Awareness Month in the U.S.

Credits

Client Children Of The Fairies Foundation (I bambini delle fate) Production/Creative Dean Freeman, director, creative, producer; Joshua C. Fry, DP, editor. Production Support Movie Magic International Irene Giovenzana, production manager; Alba Lopez Rodriguez, sr. production assistant. Music Teeth of the Sea Motion Graphics The Quiet Lab Eugene Tan Color Grade The Quiet Lab Corey Spykerman, colorist. Special Thanks To: Andrea and Franco Antonello

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