Cinema from the Spectrum, created by Sheridan student Jaime Rebanal, is a podcast and website dedicated to looking at movies from the perspective of Autistic individuals.
“There are many more autistic film lovers out there looking for a means to have their own voices heard – so I decided to turn my site into a platform for raising awareness about our own perspectives on cinema,” said Rebanal.
Started a year ago, Cinema from the Spectrum has been building an audience since its inception, with over 400 likes on its Facebook page and a slot on Sheridan Radio.
“Being able to have a platform of this sort means a great deal to me, because of the fact that I know it’s possible to reach out to more neurotypical film lovers as a means of showing them we can’t always be left out of the conversation,” Rebanal said.
While it was originally intended for Rebanal to share his personal views on films, Cinema from the Spectrum quickly evolved. Now, there are four contributing writers to the website and podcast, all of whom are on the spectrum, and Rebanal is hoping to expand: “I do hope that we’ll be able to find more writers for our fairly small team but also to have a crew to help out with my own red-carpet coverage as well.”
Rebanal’s work has been well received by the Sheridan community. “Jaime is incredibly endearing and we have had many different people approach us either wanting to be involved or who are just happy that we have a host like Jaime,” Amelia Sher, the director of Sheridan Life Radio, said.
While Rebanal has some local aspirations, Sher believes he could have bigger things on the horizon: “Jaime was asked by the National College Radio Association to sit on a national committee for students who are on the spectrum and working in Radio and have made a positive impact,” she said. “I would not be surprised at all if his podcast got picked up by a national media agency.”
While Cinema from the Spectrum is having an impact nationwide, one of its writers says that the impact for him has been more close to home. “I’m given a more professional platform for my long-form thoughts on film, and I get to be part of a like-minded community of autistic film nerds,” said Chuck Winters, a writer for the website.
Rebanal hopes the podcast does more than show people a different perspective on movies. “What I’ve been hoping to do for the autistic community at school is to erase social stigmas that have been set up against us by showing the public that we’re also able to start up conversations about stuff we love on our own terms,” Rebanal said.
For those interested, you can find episodes of Cinema from the Spectrum on Mixcloud.