Autistic Society production wins charity film award

An award-winning Autistic Society film is increasing public understanding of the everyday challenges facing autistic people.

James Hayes | 18th May 18
Image shows film producers for the Autistic Society, whose film has won the Charity Film Awards 2018.

A cinematic awareness-raising drama produced by the National Autistic Society has been named Charity Film of the Year at the annual Charity Film Awards.

The film, Make It Stop was first released as part of the National Autistic Society’s Too Much Information campaign and during World Autism Awareness Week. Its plot follows character played by autistic star ‘Holly’ during a single day: it shows how overwhelming everyday situations can become when autistic people are not given enough time to process information.

After being made available for view on YouTube the digitally-distributed film went viral, and was watched more than 5 million times in the days after it launched. It had been viewed some 6.2 million times by the time it won the award earlier this week, its makers say.

“Making the film was the most amazing thing that I have done in my life,” said real-life Holly, who played the lead role in Make It Stop. “I feel really proud that it won the Charity Film of the Year award. Winning makes me feel like autism is not a bad thing. Hopefully this will inspire other autistic people to be more confident about who they are. Winning the award is really good because it can make more people aware of autism.”

“Charity films, like Make It Stop, are a superb way to raise awareness and improve understanding of people with hidden disabilities,” added Jo, Holly’s mother. “This award recognises the talented people who made the film, Holly’s accurate portrayal of experiencing delayed processing, and the potential impact the film has on the viewer.”

A relatively small number of people understand what it actually means to be autistic, said  Tom Purser, Head of Campaigns at The National Autistic Society. “We set out to change this with our Too Much Information campaign and this film. [We aimed] to transform public understanding of autism, and of the difficulties people on the autism spectrum can face – and their strengths too.”

Find out more about the making of Make It Stop in this behind the scenes blog.