After witnessing the effects of autism on his brother’s life, Edge Hill student Tom Griffiths decided he wanted to create a film in an effort to learn more and raise awareness of the neurological condition which affects so many people.
Tom, aged 21 from Chirk in Wrexham, who is studying Film Studies with Film Production, has directed, written and produced Autism: A Curious Case of the Human Mind which has won awards and praise across the globe.
Through the piecing together of home videos and interviews with people both on and off the autistic spectrum, Tom attempts to learn more about the condition whilst telling his own story and that of his younger brother Owen. He created the hour long documentary with a group of fellow film students on a small budget of £370 in an attempt to raise awareness and society’s understanding of the condition.
“I was due to set off to university after my final year in college so I thought that it would be a good time to learn more about my brother’s condition and other peoples life experiences with autism,” said Tom. “Documenting it on film allowed me to share my experience with the audience – hopefully helping them understand the condition better too.”
Autism: A Curious Case of the Human Mind was the winner of Best of Festival and Best Feature Documentary at Carmarthen Bay Film Festival 2017, nominated for Best Documentary Feature at Prince of Prestige Academy Awards 2017, a semi-finalist at Los Angeles CineFest 2017 and a semi-finalist at Oniros Film Awards in Italy.
“People all over the world have seen my work and it is mind-blowing,” said Tom. “To think that this film was made by a few teenage film students from North Wales and to now reflect on its message being watched and applauded from all over the world is absolutely surreal.
“The more people that watch the film, the wider platform the message reaches and hopefully the more aware our society becomes of this fascinating condition.”
The film has received a large number of positive reviews. Ukfilmreview.co.uk states “Griffiths is young and just starting in his filmmaking career, and to tackle such a subject so early on is a bold move and as I said the content is there, it’s engaging and most importantly…informative.” Blogger Emmakwall described the film as “a very thoughtful, interesting documentary with the added twist of including the complex relationship between two different brothers. Well written and made, it’s a pleasure to watch.”
In the future Tom wants to continue making films and music videos and plans on working hard to build a reputation for himself and solidify a career within the film industry.