Monday, 15 August 2011

Film - Alien to the World

Alien to the World

Alien to the World is a film about my personal experiences with Aspergers Syndrome that I made for my Masters dissertation at Bangor University.

Thanks to everyone who helped me make this project a reality.

Robert Mann MA



"Autism is not a puzzle, nor a disease. Autism is a challenge." -Trisha van Berkel

A simple but apt description for not only the wider Autistic Spectrum but also the condition known as Aspergers Syndrome. A form of Autism that affects the social and functional abilities of those who have it, many do not realise the true effect it has on someone who has it.

'Alien to the World' is an attempt to rectify this, offering a glimpse into how one person is affected by the condition on a daily basis and how they struggle to cope with the things most people take for granted. This film offers a personal, and sometimes humorous, view of both what it is like to live with Aspergers Syndrome and how a person with Aspergers views a world which by and large does not accept them.

Alien to the World is based on the personal experiences of writer and director Robert Mann, himself diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, and features music by American musician Lindsey Nebeker, who has a diagnosis of Autism.


Written, Produced, Directed and Edited by Robert Mann
Cinematography by Robert Mann, Nick Williams and Mai Yasuhara
Additional Cinematography by Daivid Mann and Eli Wills
Cinematography Assistance by Nicholas Hintze and Eli Wills
Flash Animations by Robert Mann
Casting by Robert Mann

Robert/Narrator/Maximilian Drake/Masked Man 1 - Robert Mann
Jenny/Hostage - Lizzy Hawley
Alex Roberts - Zara Swanton
Jane Fisk - Eli Wills
Head of Police - Alexandra Coke
Himself - John Edward Green
Himself - Patrick Thomas
Themselves - The members of National Autistic Society Bangor Social Group
Robert's Dad/Cinema Customer - Daivid Mann
Alex Roberts' Boyfriend/Masked Man 2 - Nick Williams
Hostage Taker 1/Maximilian Drake's Employee - Vaibhav Dewan
Hostage Taker 2 - Robert Burstow
Hostage Taker 3 - Matt Ison
People In Bar - The Members of BUFFS
Friends - Lizzy Hawley, Eli Wills and others
Couple - Nick Williams and other

Soundtrack featuring original music by Lindsey Nebeker

Stock music, videos and images courtesy of iStockaudio, iStockvideo and iStockphoto

Creative work and Autistic Ambition Productions ident ©2010 Robert Mann


If you want to know more about Lindsey Nebeker and her music you can visit these web pages:

The following videos can also be viewed on the Autistic Ambition Productions YouTube channel at:

If you like what you see please also check out the Autistic Ambition Productions Facebook fanpage at:!/pages/Autistic-Ambition-Productions/211113208937459

...and the Autistic Ambition Productions Facebook group at:!/groups/201522829904879/


Introduction to Alien to the World

Alien to the World Part 1 of 6

Alien to the World Part 2 of 6

Alien to the World Part 3 of 6

Alien to the World Part 4 of 6

Alien to the World Part 5 of 6

Alien to the World Part 6 of 6

It is my hope that this film will help to raise awareness about the way Autistic people live their lives. Please feel free to post any comments about or reviews of my film. I welcome feedback.

Robert Mann MA

Sunday, 31 October 2010

'Autism: The Misunderstood Child' Film Review

Autism: The Misunderstood Child *****

“I just want to encourage others who feel hopeless, to instead feel hopeful.” These are the words of Kathy Winters, the woman who made this delightful short video entitled Autism: The Misunderstood Child, a dedication to her son Ayden who was diagnosed with Autism in January 2008. Yes, it is essentially just a collection of pictures but it is a collection of pictures that is full of heart, accompanied by a beautiful and inspirational piece of music, statistics and facts about Autism and a superb poem by Kathy that truly comes from the heart, detailing both the plight of her son’s Autism and the wonder that comes from it as well. This short film may only be a homemade video but it is a well made one and one that conveys plenty about what it is like living with Autism and what it truly means to love some who has the condition. Kathy says this of Ayden: “He is special, not because of his limitations, but because of his heart” – simple words that perfectly say why individuals with Autism truly are special. And the closing words – “It’s not hopeless if you love them and believe in their potential” – say so much. If everyone saw this video, perhaps there would be less ignorance in the world about what it means to have Autism.


This is a follow up to my previous post which contains the full film of Autism: The Misunderstood Child and can be found here:

Review by Robert Mann BA (Hons)

Short Film: 'Autism: The Misunderstood Child'

The original source for this video can be found here:


Autism: The Misunderstood Child is a very sweet short video that I came across made by a woman as a dedication to her Autistic son. It is both honest and insightful.

A full review of this video will follow shortly.

Robert Mann BA (Hons)

Friday, 8 October 2010

'Feelings of Girls and Women with Autism' Film Review

Feelings of Girls and Women with Autism *****

I am a man living with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of Autism. And with this comes a range of difficulties, feelings and emotions. Yet, the nature of Autism is such that no two individuals diagnosed with it will ever be completely the same and thus I am unable to fully appreciate how the condition affects others who have it. This is particularly true of the opposite sex. It has been established that females with the condition experience a very different set of problems resulting from it, problems that I am not fully able to understand, and also that many women can slip through the cracks, going completely undetected – hence a key reason why so many fewer women are diagnosed than men. After watching this short video, Feelings of Girls and Women with Autism, however, I am much closer to such an understanding than I was before.

“This video describes the feelings often faced by girls with Asperger Syndrome”
- Laura Paxton

Just like other short videos on Autism that I have reviewed, this film features a succession of still images – intercut with text segments – set to music and just like every one of the others it also manages to put across a unique (uniqueness is something that is very much synonymous with Autism) perspective and the manner in which it paints the struggle of girls and women with Autism proves very effective, the imagery (both photos and artwork that illustrate the points being made) used being both hauntingly beautiful and heartbreakingly sad at the same time, the words used to describe the feelings being very eloquent and poetic, and the musical accompaniment being suitably enchanting and appropriate to the mood the film is trying to create. While the film is very short it successfully says a lot about key feelings being experienced by females with Autism – the lack of understanding of social cues, the desire to have friends and fit in, the feeling of loneliness, the fantasy worlds that girls with the condition often lose themselves in, the “special interests” they comfort themselves with, the “social vortex” they get lost in, the way they imitate others in an effort to fit in, the fact that the condition can affect anyone regardless of culture and the stress and exhaustion that can result from the condition – and if you watch this beautifully made video you are sure to have a greatly improved understanding of the difficulties faced by girls and women with Autism with afterwards. I certainly did.

This is a follow up to my previous post which included the full film of Feelings of Girls and Women with Autism and can be found here:

Review by Robert Mann BA (Hons)

Short Film: 'Feelings of Girls and Women with Autism'

The original source for this video can be found here:


Feelings of Girls and Women with Autism is a delightful short video that effectively conveys the feelings, emotions and difficulties experienced by females diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is a very beautiful and emotive piece of work that conveys its messages quite eloquently.

A full review for this film will follow shortly.

Robert Mann BA (Hons)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

'I Love Somebody with Autism' Film Review

I Love Somebody with Autism *****

“Open your eyes. And experience the magic. I will get there when you believe.” These are the words that open I Love Somebody with Autism, another delightful homemade movie about Autism, this time relating more specifically to one person with the condition – a young boy called Jonathan, whose imagination is very much the subject of this film. The film is essentially just a sequence of images set against the rather delightful music of Mariah Carey’s When You Believe but there is something really magical about the way it has been put together. The film isn’t so much trying to put a wider message across as show how gifted and artistic Jonathan is, the film consisting of drawings that he has done (even opening with his own versions of movie studio idents for Disney, Paramount and THX) intermingled with some photos of himself making some of his artistic creations. There is real passion on display in the images and the film successfully puts across that Autism isn’t all bad for Jonathan, presenting him with gifts as well as difficulties. The film is very well edited and put together and the chosen music is a perfect accompanying piece. Simply put, I Love Somebody with Autism is a delightful short film and one that, while being about Jonathan, is relevant to anyone with Autism as such gifts and abilities can be found in any individual diagnosed with the condition and a greater recognition of the positives that come from Autism as opposed to all the negatives is something that the world could really do with developing.

The closing words from the film that appear below say everything that needs to said. Jonathan isn’t viewed as a burden by his family but rather a unique individual who should be treasured not excluded.

“To our dearest Jonathan.

We are so proud of you despite your disability you’re among the luckiest special child with gifted artistic hands & an excellent photography memory.

You will have difficulty expressing yourself but your work of art speaks for you...
I know someday your prayers will be heard because you are Blessed and God loves you dearly.
We all wish you a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

We Love You,

Papa, Mama, Joan & Joshua.”


This is a follow up to my previous post which contains the full film of I Love Somebody with Autism and can be found here:

Review by Robert Mann BA (Hons)

Short Film: 'I Love Somebody with Autism'

The original source for this video can be found here:


I Love Somebody with Autism is a delightful homemade movie about a young boy called Jonathan who has Autism and whose gifts make up for the difficulties the condition creates for him to an extent. The movie is a compilation of images that he has drawn set to music.

A full review of this film will follow shortly.

Robert Mann BA (Hons)