From the Creators of Normal People Scare Me, comes a Film about Siblings & Disabilities: The Sandwich Kid
Keri Bowers, co-director of the hit film, Normal People Scare Me; a film about autism, has teamed up with her son Jace to share the story of brothers and sisters functioning in their daily lives with a sibling having a variety of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, mental retardation, Downs syndrome, autism, and others. “The Sandwich Kid” is the vehicle to bring this underreported issue to light.
“With no laws such as (ADA) American with Disabilities Act, or IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), or other uniform or legislative supports in existence to support this vulnerable population, we are overlooking an important segment of our society. Brothers and sisters most often give away their services (often life-long) for free to siblings affected by disability. From personal care, health care, social and life skill supports, estate, and financial planning, siblings often do it all with no remuneration.” says Keri. “It’s time we acknowledge this vulnerable population, and take a stand to look at how we (as a society) can make a difference. This perspective leads Keri to ask an important theoretical question in the film “Imagine if for just one day only, millions of sibs were to strike and stop supports and care for their sibling. Can you even begin to imagine what the fiscal cost alone would be? In the millions? Billions? Forget the emotional and physical toll such a hypothetical strike would create.” In short, we are taking siblings for granted as a global community.
Jace’s relationship with his brother, Taylor, who experiences autism, was the seed for this film which gives a voice to this silent majority. “Sandwich Kids – siblings in the middle of a disability (a family disorder) and the need to grow in their own lives - are not provided the supports they need to fulfill their roles.” says Keri, who saw first-hand how challenged her two boys were in relationship to one another and to Taylor’s autism.
Keri hopes her film will get people talking about these issues, and maintains that the time is now for brothers and sisters to speak out. “Siblings have a right to ask for, and to receive proper supports in psychological, medical, financial, estate planning, etc., which are currently only offered in few areas by smaller organizations well aware of their plight. “Siblings give up so much. In fact, siblings are the longest lasting relationship a person will have in his/her lifetime. It’s time we look at the sacrifices and joys of their roles, and begin to take a stand to support their efforts.” But there is also an upside.
Siblings of people with disabilities tend to be more compassionate human beings. They are more patient, and often become involved in community activities and charitable pursuits. They often choose careers in care giving, healthcare, psychology and other human-centered work.
In this pointed documentary, 12-year-old Jace, uses his wit and powerful character to interview subjects and extract tears and laughter along the way. The interview subjects—young and old—are sometimes brave, helpful, forgiving, angry, fearful, and powerful individuals, who bring unique perspectives to the life of a sibling.
The Sandwich Kid makes its world debut in Manhattan on May 15, 2007, 8:00pm at the Jewish Community Center, on May 19, 7:00pm in Long Island at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center, with a preview at the Beverly Hills Fine Arts Theater on June 1st at 7:00pm. Proceeds from the Beverly Hills event will benefit United Cerebral Palsy.
For New York to register, call 646-505-5708 or visit jccmanhattan.org; $20 members; $25.00 non-members
For Long Island contact: Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center, 516-484-1545 or visit sjjcc.org; this event is free
For Beverly Hills, to purchase tickets go to studioscreenings.com; $15.00 tickets, proceeds benefit United Cerebral Palsy