“O’Kelley Legends: 2e Behind the Scenes” for rental on the Vimeo On Demand service.
Los Angeles, California Aug 9, 2022 (Issuewire.com) – The O’Kelley Lab announces the release of the documentary feature film “O’Kelley Legends: 2e Behind the Scenes” for rental on the Vimeo On Demand service.
On releasing “O’Kelley Legends” for VOD, Harri James, the film’s director said, “It’s great to have a documentary that highlights the importance of mentorship for twice-exceptional kids. I hope families and educators will find it valuable.”
“I’m so grateful O’Kelley Legends: 2e Behind the Scenes is out in the world for all to see! This documentary is a thoughtful and charming window into the profound strengths and flat-out awesomeness of twice-exceptional students. By highlighting 2e teen Jordan O’Kelley’s journey to cast and produce a monologue show, the film highlights what’s possible for 2e kids with the right support, mentoring, and perhaps most importantly, a whole-hearted belief in the powerful gifts and perspective they have to offer the world.”
-Debbie Reber, Founder of Tilt Parenting & Author of “Differently Wired”
The film runs for 67 minutes. The award-winning documentary has been screened at numerous film festivals, universities, and at special needs and gifted conferences. Harri James and Jordan O’Kelley have also spoken on several panels at universities and education conferences about neurodiversity and gifted education and are available for similar presentations about the film.
“O’Kelley Legends” follows 13-year-old Jordan O’Kelley who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 4 and identified as gifted at age 10. Jordan is “twice exceptional” or “2e”– gifted and having a disability or learning difference.
“O’Kelley Legends: 2e Behind the Scenes provides an authentic and educational look at the creative process of putting on a live theatrical performance told through the eyes of autistic teen director Jordan O’Kelley, as he learns on the job. Autistic young adults and their families should definitely see this film, as it shows what personal determination along with a supportive family and community can yield in terms of creative achievement.”
-Erik Linthorst, Writer, Producer, Director, Autism Goes to College
In the 4th grade, Jordan wrote a book of humorous stories about his family, called “O’Kelley Legendary Legends of Legend, or “How I Got Out of Homework in 4th Grade.”
As an 8th grader, Jordan adapted his book into a monologue show as a fundraiser to benefit the nonprofit organization, SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted). SENG empowers families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals.
The late Dr. James T. Webb founded SENG to offer the gifted community support and guidance through education, research, and connection. Jordan met Dr. Webb at a SENG conference in 2018 shortly before Dr. Webb passed away, and was inspired by his work.
In an effort to support SENG, Jordan set out to create the monologue show as a fundraiser in Dr. Webb’s honor. Many of the cast in the show are twice exceptional students. The film chronicles the production process through the eyes of a young, twice exceptional director. The film shows how support can help create a positive theater experience for neurodiverse actors– from casting, through rehearsals, and finally the performance. With a home movie feel, the documentary shows the O’Kelley family collaborating with mentors to create a low-stress environment for the twice exceptional cast.
“I was smiling throughout the movie – smiling for Jordan and his courage, for the mentors who were nurturing and supporting the 2e youth’s talent and growth, for Jim Webb’s influence on all of us and our field, and for an engaging and entertaining performance which arose out of Jordan’s imagination and dedication to avoiding homework! This movie is a real-life example of the multiple facets of being 2e and raising a 2e child in a strength-based and affirming way.”
-Dr. Dan Peters, psychologist, author, podcast host, co-founder, and Executive Director of the Summit Center
The film was produced by The O’Kelley Lab and Three Boots Productions, led by the film’s director, Harri James, who is also Jordan’s mom. James is a former actress, turned script supervisor, and turned writer-director. She has written and directed a feature film, four award-winning shorts, and now her first documentary. “O’Kelley Legends” combines Harri’s abilities in filmmaking with her passion for gifted and 2e education. Her approach to parenting is “to embrace your child’s individual differences and support their strengths,” she stated. “I hope this film inspires more families to follow their child’s lead.”
The O’Kelley Lab is a Los Angeles-based, grassroots effort by the O’Kelley family to foster innovative therapies to empower parents and individuals who are gifted and neurodiverse. The O’Kelley Lab supports ideas and therapies that are geared toward improving the lives of people on the autistic spectrum and with other disabilities as well. The O’Kelley Lab hopes the documentary will be an entertaining way to raise awareness about what it’s like to be 2e and the importance of mentorship.
In putting together the show, The O’Kelley Lab made use of a variety of supports such as “Mime as Therapy.” They recruited industry mentors in acting, directing, casting, and producing to work with the cast and crew. This helped the students to find their strengths and to feel supported and successful.
The mentors include actors Daniel Roebuck (The Munster, Lost, Matlock) Duane Whitaker (Edge of Town, Pulp Fiction, Dust to Dawn 2) Jennifer Collins (Starf*cker, The Conjuring 2) Bret Anthony (Community, The Hunter’s Anthology), and Lexi Shoaibi. Casting director Mark Tillman-Briggle mentored Jordan through the casting process, while Daniel Roebuck mentored him in directing. Comedian Billy Riback helped mentor with comedy writing. Rosemary Nadolsky assisted with literary editing. Jolene Adams provided guidance in producing. Gil Zuniga coached on audio production, and Ainsley Emrys mentored in set decoration. Mime and actor Terry Hart led the students in various mime warm-ups and exercises that are part of “Mime as Therapy,” which Terry Hart developed in conjunction with The O’Kelley Lab.
The “O’Kelley Legends” documentary premiered last fall at the 2021 Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles, where it won a Special Jury Award for Uplifting Film. The film has also screened at the 2022 Borrego Springs Film Festival, the 2022 Los Angeles Show Biz Shriners Festival, where it won Best Documentary and Best of Fest, as well as 20 other festivals, and has won several awards.
Vimeo On Demand pages enables creators to sell their work to fans at the price they want, allowing viewers to directly support creators whose work they enjoy. The film can be viewed on TV, computers, phones, and tablets, using the Vimeo app, or by going to The O’Kelley Legends: 2e behind the Scene The O’Kelley Legends:2e Behind the Scenes. The film can be rented for 7 days for $6.99.
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