DON'T FOIL MY PLANS

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Ben Stamper

“If Justin can do it, there’s hope for an entire generation. If Justin fails, we’re all in big trouble.” -Amy Harmon, New York Times.

Eye contact is a common challenge for many people with autism. But often, it’s the “normal” people who fail to do the real looking, and end up only seeing an issue in the shape of a person. DON’T FOIL MY PLANS is a deeply inspiring look at one young artist whose dreams are much bigger than his autism. For the past three years, award-winning director Ben Stamper has been following the life and work of Justin Canha, a New Jersey-based artist in his mid-twenties whose diagnosis places him in the middle of the autism spectrum. Justin’s goals are simple: to move out of his parents’ house and pursue an independent life. Justin has given himself one year to find an apartment and establish himself as an illustrator and animator. DON’T FOIL MY PLANS is a lyrical, penetrating documentary about the population boom of adults with autism and the incredible odds they must face to achieve even the smallest forms of independence. This film reveals how one young man is cleverly harnessing his condition as a key to the happy and fulfilled life we all yearn for.

DON’T FOIL MY PLANS is a vérité film that is told from a relational, rather than analytical, point of view. This is not an issue-driven documentary full of statistics and talking heads, nor is this an exposé on the causes and controversy of autism. Rather, it is an impressionistic portrait of Justin which celebrates the idea that true strength often resides in perceived weakness, and that human worth abounds even in the midst of social rejection.

 

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