The Buzz About “Bumblebees”: Award-Winning Film Starring Teen with AutismA. Stout
As participants in the 2015 Disability Film Challenge, VanceÂ Kanell and his sister Jenna only had 48 hours to write, film, and edit a shortÂ romantic comedy. So Jenna, the director, decided to have her 19-year-old brother with autism do something entirely new to him: go on a date.
The date wasn’t the only thing that went well. The siblings’ short film, titled “Bumblebees,”Â also won the national contest!
The sweet filmÂ follows Vance as he paces nervously; turns to his cat Goldie for dating advice; tries on all sorts of different outfits to find the perfect one; and finally meets up withÂ his date.
Ending on a note of wisdom, Vance says, “You don’t need to find somebody perfect or be somebody perfect. You just have to find another bumblebee to fly with.”
The conceptÂ of bumblebees comes from Vance’sÂ own story. Doctors predicted he’d never walk, talk, read, or write; yet he learned to doÂ all fourÂ of those things. That’s why his parents nicknamed him “Bumblebee,” because according to the laws of aerodynamics, the big, bulky, fuzzy critterÂ shouldÂ not be able to fly.Â “But nobody ever told him about aerodynamics,” Vance notes.
And like the bumblebee, Vance has beat allÂ odds stacked against him. Well, actually, he’s gone even further thanÂ that; he’sÂ becomeÂ a star!
A huge congratulations to the Kanell siblings on their success! We hope to see more from you in the future.
Check out the award-winning video below!