Wednesday, June 20, 2018 – 7:30pm
USA 2016. Dir: Lara Stolman. 100 min. DCP
VANCOUVER PREMIERE! An atypical sports movie, Swim Team chronicles the inspiring rise of the Jersey Hammerheads, a competitive, co-ed (but mostly male) swim team for teenagers on the autism spectrum in blue-collar New Jersey. Founded by Michael and Maria McQuay out of frustration over the lack of programs available to their son Mikey (diagnosed with ASD at the age of five), the team helps its young athletes develop confidence and communication skills, and provides a haven of understanding and community for parents. The focus is on three teammates nearing adulthood, Mikey, Robbie, and Kelvin (who also has Tourette’s), and the challenges they face while training for local and then statewide meets. Supporting them are families determined to give their kids the best foundation to succeed, critical now that they are “aging out” of the state system. “Edifying. A portrait of heartbreak, frustration, and triumph” (Daphne Howland, LA Weekly).
Post-screening discussion with Deborah Pugh, who has been active in the autism community provincially and nationally since 1995. In 2003, with the support of parents and professionals from around B.C., Deborah founded ACT — Autism Community Training.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.
Co-sponsored by ACT- Autism Community Training
“A film that’s both eye-opening and heart-opening.”
RogerEbert.com | full review