The reviews are in and all agree: The 2022 Annual Film Festival was a huge success!

The FilmAcademy360 festival, now in its 8th year, celebrates the creation of original films and videos by FA360 students filmmakers with autism and related conditions.

Since its inception in 2015, the film academy has been an example of creativity, innovation and carrying out the Spectrum360 mission of helping individuals develop, learn and grow in every way they can imagine. From acting to editing, festival participants have immersed themselves in all aspects of filmmaking. While FilmAcademy360 specializes in working with young adults on the autism spectrum, it is open to all.

“Our annual film festival gives students a public forum in which to showcase their talents,” FA360 Program Director David DiIanni says. “When our students see that people are excited to see what they are doing, it raises their motivation and self-esteem. Publicly displaying their work raises the bar for them, and the positive feedback they receive for their work is huge for our students.”

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Over 100 people, including students, families, S360 staff, board members and sponsors attended the festival, which kicked off with a Hollywood-style red carpet for the filmmakers, FA360 students and guests, who posed for photos in front of a traditional “step and repeat” banner featuring event supporters.

Held at the AMC Theater in East Hanover, this was the first ever Film Festival held in a “real” movie theater, with attendees relaxing in the theater’s recliner seats and enjoying popcorn and other treats.

The 2022 festival highlighted 21 short films, on topics ranging from movie reviews to talk shows for a total run-time of one hour and fifteen minutes.

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Speaking at the event, S360 Executive Director Ken Berger said, “Over the years, the film academy has always been a shining example of creativity, innovation and our primary focus on our mission, by helping our students and adults to develop, learn and grow in every way we can imagine.”

Congratulations to Director DiIanni, Alyssa Currey and Vincent Lissandrello for having curated, planned and hosted another successful festival, and thanks for their dedication to the academy and its participants, as well as to Academy360 Upper School students.

Special thanks to our festival sponsors, the Gagliardi Family, Autism Speaks, The Sweeney Family and The Ruffee Family, whose support made this event possible

This year’s film festival raised approximately $16,000 to support FilmAcademy360’s mission to provide high-quality instruction in filmmaking, video editing, podcasting, graphic arts and more. Its after school & weekend classes are open to students and members of the community age 14 & up. To learn more about FilmAcademy360 and all it has to offer, please visit our FA360 website.

To view more festival entries and other films created by FilmAcademy360 students, visit FA360’s Media Crunch YouTube page.