Monday, August 8, 2011

Joey Travolta Gives Autistic Children A Voice Through Film

   - At the HEAL Film Camp held at the University of North Florida, 50 children ages 10 to 17 worked closely with Joey Travolta, John Travolta's brother,and his team to create a 30-minute short film. HEAL (Healing Every Autistic Life), is a local organization for children and families with autistic children. Through an application process, HEAL selects the 50 children, 30 whom have autism, to attend the camp each year. The other 20 campers are siblings of the autistic children.
     "Children with autism think  pictures and film making are moving pictures," said Travolta. "So it's natural that they take to this, it gives them a voice." Not only does it give them a voice, the film camp gives them something to do for two weeks straight as opposed to possibly not having the same opportunities their siblings might have. The HEAL Film Camp was started four years ago, when Karen Sadler of FilmLab Productions approached Travolta about starting a film camp in Jacksonville for autistic children. Not only does the camp give the campers a creative outlet, it also provides them a chance to see their siblings in a new light and bring them together to work towards a bigger goal. Every step of the production process provides the campers with building blocks to a better life, from the actual filming right down to the catering.The campers, their siblings and everyone else who participated in the 30-minute short film will be able to see the finished product in the fall, in a film screening being held at the university.

 To learn more about the HEAL program visit:

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