A pioneering documentary about autism produced and directed in the Abu Dhabi got a special showing at the House of Lords on Tuesday night as part of the UK and UAE year of collaboration.
As One: The Autism Project, which was released in 2014, follows 10 children living in the Emirates aged between 4 and 16 as they prepare to put on a musical for their parents.
Hosted by education advocate Lord Lingfield and the UAE embassy in London, the film showcases Abu Dhabi’s growing creative industries as well as the tolerant society, which exists in the Emirates.
“This is just one of many events that have been taking place during this important year of collaboration,” Lord Lingfield said at the screening. “The showing of this film is such a worthwhile thing to do.”
As One was an initiative started by HH Sheikha Shamsa bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has been a vocal campaigner for people living with autism in the UAE. She commissioned Image Nation Abu Dhabi to create a film which showed the joy that children on the spectrum bring to the people around them.
Speaking after the screening, producer and director Hana Makki said: “One of the things we wanted to do was to create a film where you see parents who are very proud of their children.
“We wanted to educate people about autism but also show that children can be part of society like any other child.”
The moving documentary aims to eliminate the stigma around autism by showing the unique qualities each child possesses.
The UK/UAE 2017 Year of Collaboration is a season of arts and events in Britain and the Emirates designed to build new audiences, create new collaborations and strengthen relationships.