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SPELLERS

Available for

Virtual

On-demand

In-person

Available for screenings until

May 01, 2024

Available for screenings in

Worldwide

Brought to you by

Spellers Freedom Foundation

About the film

Inspired by the book Underestimated, the new full-length documentary SPELLERS challenges conventional wisdom regarding a group relegated to society’s margins: nonspeakers with autism, who most “experts” believe are cognitively disabled. As the film opening asks, “What if we’ve been wrong…about every single one of them?” SPELLERS answers that question, in convincing fashion, through the stories of eight nonspeakers—Aydan, Evan, Sid, Maddie, Jamie, Vince, Cade, and Elizabeth—who all found their voice through the miraculous process of using a letterboard to communicate their thoughts and feelings. As Jamie explains, “we think, feel, and learn just like everyone else.”

Genre

Documentary

Runtime

1h 23m

Released

2023

Director

Pat Notaro

Executive Producer

Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, Donnie Wahlberg, Dawnmarie Gaivin, Dana Johnson, Gail Tanner

Cast

Aydan Boden, Jamie Handley, Cade Larson, Vince Rinicella, Madison Hollman, Evan Tastor, Elizabeth Bonker, Sid Sarathy

Upcoming screenings

Awards & recognition

Phoenix Film Festival

Official Selection

What people are saying

"From the very first stencil, it’s obvious that not only are these kids brighter than the 70 IQ we’ve all been told they’re limited to, but they are far more intelligent than most of us—and I’m not pandering when I say that. These people, who are treated as if they are stupid, as if they are a burden on society, are far smarter than you and me—and they are far more perceptive, empathetic and forgiving. They have prior knowledge from topics no one bothered to teach them. Heck, no one even taught them to read, but they know how. When asked to articulate their feelings about themselves and others, they become poets."

Levi Quackenboss

SPELLERS has documented a miracle

I did not expect to go through the emotional ride that SPELLERS mandates of you. I literally had to take it in small doses - 20 minute at at time, to let myself process what I had just seen on the screen. Not out of disbelief - but rather out of my keen sensitivity to injustices and my penchant to fight for the downtrodden.

James Lyons-Weiler

"SPELLERS": A Documentary That is Going to Change the World

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