Sun Mar 5, 2023 – 12:00 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
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My Name is David is an animated short film from one of the animators of Robot Chicken, Matt Manning, which depicts a young student’s speech to his fellow classmates about his autism. Using the words and voice of 13-year old autistic self-advocate, David Shapiro Sharif, his speech highlights his various strengths and challenges, serving as an informative and educational tool for everyone watching.
David Sharif is a global autism advocate. At the age of 12, David learned the power of using his voice through writing and presenting the speech that ultimately became the basis for the claymation video, “My Name Is David.” After successfully appealing to be placed on the diploma track in middle school, David ended up not only graduating valedictorian of his high school class, but also graduated Magna Cum Laude from Pace University with a degree in Political Science and Peace & Justice Studies in 2019. He has written a poetry chapbook, entitled “The Empowerment of My Condition,” numerous articles and appeared on many podcasts, reflecting on his experiences and offering wisdom. Prior to his untimely death in April, 2022 his passion was to give speeches on autism-related topics to large audiences across the globe, empowering individuals, supporting families and organizations. He envisioned a future where autistic people would not be underestimated.
David’s website: https://theneurodiversetraveler.wordpress.com/
Having always been a lover of trees and wood sculpture, and wanting to use my professional animation knowledge on a personal film, “Of Wood” began as an experiment in finding a new way to animate with wood. I had almost no woodworking experience when I began this project, but took a short wood carving class in order to learn the basic techniques and tools necessary.
Most of the film was shot without storyboards, tests, or exposure sheets since I could never plan very far ahead due to the nature of the process. As such, I had to make it up as I went along, just using my overall vision for the film to guide each particular moment’s actions.
Director: Matthew Manning
Runtime: 6 min.
Writer: David Shapiro Sharif
Producer: Karen S Shapiro, Matthew Asner
Key Cast: David Shapiro Sharif