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Groundbreaking autism app launches across Canada

My Autism Passport launches at World Autism Awareness Day event on April 2, 2018 at Cineplex theatres across Canada

WINNIPEG – In celebration of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, 2018, Merit Motion Pictures, Cineplex Events, St. Michael’s Hospital, TVO and the Telus Fund have partnered to present a nationwide launch of My Autism Passport (MAP). This one-night special event held at eleven Cineplex locations across Canada will feature an introduction of MAP, a free mobile tool designed to help parents of children with autism plan, navigate and manage their child’s developmental treatment journey.

The evening will include a screening of the feature documentary, Beyond the Spectrum: A Family’s Year Confronting Autism, and the majority of proceeds will be donated to St. Michael’s Hospital and other autism organizations in support of continued autism research and services. Screenings at selected locations will be followed by a panel discussion with community leaders on autism resources, barriers, and the importance of embracing neurodiversity.

MAP was developed by Merit Motion Pictures and St. Michael’s Hospital, in response to the need for an organizational tool identified by parents Carly and Stef from Beyond the Spectrum. In the search for a partner, the documentary team discovered Dr. Elizabeth Young and her research team at St. Michael’s, who were looking for an app to replace their paper-based tracking tool, designed to guide families through the steps of accessing treatment and services.

MAP expands on this initial concept, offering a database of services in every province and creating an organized log of activities. St. Michael’s Hospital plans to use the app to continue their research into the barriers that families face in accessing services for children with autism, and explore the differences in health and educational outcomes for children that receive support earlier in their lives.

In Beyond the Spectrum, produced by Merit Motion Pictures and Orangeville Road Pictures, award-winning director Steve Suderman follows Carly, Stef, and their five children for a year after two-year-old son Oskar is diagnosed with autism. Dropping everything to focus on his therapy, they find progress slow and uncertain, forcing them to confront a critical question: does accepting Oskar mean accepting his autism?

MAP is available for free to iOS and Android users through the App Store and Google Play. Funding for MAP was provided by the TELUS Fund, TVO, and the Manitoba Digital Media Tax Credit.

Praise for Beyond the Spectrum:

“Essential viewing for parents and teachers of children with severe challenges.”

– Temple Grandin
Author, Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain

“It’s impossible to turn away from [Steve Suderman’s} compelling family portrait.”

– Jim Bawden
Television Blogger and former Toronto Star critic

MAP Launch:

Doors at 6:30, show at 7 PM on April 2nd, 2018 at the following Cineplex locations:

  • The Park Theatre, Vancouver BC
  • Cineplex Odeon McGillivray & VIP Cinemas, Winnipeg MB
  • Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas, Calgary AB
  • Cineplex Cinemas Parklane, Halifax NS
  • Cineplex Odeon Winston Churchill Cinemas, Oakville ON
  • Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas & VIP, Toronto ON
  • Cineplex Odeon South Keys Cinemas, Ottawa ON
  • Galaxy Cinemas Peterborough, Peterborough ON
  • Silvercity Sudbury Cinemas, Sudbury ON
  • Silvercity Windsor Cinemas, Windsor ON
  • Cineplex Odeon Latin Quarter Cinemas, Montreal QC

For venue and ticket information, please visit beyondthespectrummovie.com/see-the-film.

Press Kit: beyondthespectrummovie.com/media

For interview opportunities or screeners, please contact:

Allegra Chiarella, Merit Motion Pictures

204-775-4092 ext. 25  | allegra@meritmotionpictures.com

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