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Fairfield County Mother, Son Produce New Film About Autism, Love

Darien residents William Sullivan, left, with his mom, Anne Dempsey Sullivan at the Napa Film Festival.
Darien residents William Sullivan, left, with his mom, Anne Dempsey Sullivan at the Napa Film Festival. Photo Credit: Submitted
A press event for the film: Will Sullivan far right, with actors Louisa Kraus, Eliza Dushku ,Gabriel Ebert and Amir Arison.
A press event for the film: Will Sullivan far right, with actors Louisa Kraus, Eliza Dushku ,Gabriel Ebert and Amir Arison. Photo Credit: Submitted
Darien resident Will Sullivan heard about the story of "Jane" during his student days at NYU.
Darien resident Will Sullivan heard about the story of "Jane" during his student days at NYU. Photo Credit: Submitted

DARIEN, Conn. --- A mother/son duo from Darien are behind the film, "Jane Wants a Boyfriend," a love story about a girl with autism -- described in the movie's trailer as "not like other girls" --- and the boy she meets. A man, as the trailer says, that's "just like other guys."

The movie will be shown at New York's Village Cinema on Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m. (go HERE for tickets) as well as 10 other cities, a distribution feat both William Sullivan, the producer, and his mom, Anne, the executive producer, say is a small miracle for a small, indie film.

The movie, which stars Louisa Krause (of "Ava's Possession"), Eliza Dushku (of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Gabriel Ebert (of "Ricki and the Flash"), was more than four years in the making. It got off the ground, in part, to a Kickstarter fund that eventually raised $30,000, much of it from Darien and New Canaan families who have been impressed with Will's work in theater and film over the years.

Will, who attended King School in Stamford, said the film is based in part on real-life events that occurred while he attended New York University. The script is a collaborative effort with Jarret Kerr.

“A really good friend told us this story, and for me, it’s very much a film about courage and the fact that this girl has chosen to speak up,’’ said Will.. “People around her were telling her she’s not worthy of love. We all need to have the courage to speak up. Whether it’s coming out of the closet, or a developmental disorder, or something else, we all need courage. It goes beyond autism.”

Anne, a mom of four with a Master's in social work agrees, saying she was so taken with the story, she felt compelled to help ferry the process along. Both hope that after seeing "Jane," people will be kinder and more understanding of people with differences.

Go to www.janewantsaboyfriend.com/ for more information. Click HERE for an earlier Daily Voice story about Will and his efforts to get this story made.

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