By Josh Fasulo, July 5, 2014
In early 2013, filmmaker Alex Lehmann was working in Los Angeles as a cinematographer for film and TV when he heard several scripted jokes about Asperger’s and autism. Wondering if “Asperger’s and autism had become so mainstream that people had begun to feel it was okay to poke fun at it”, he googled “Asperger’s and comedy”. What he came across was Asperger’s Are Us, the first comedy troupe comprised entirely of individuals on the autism spectrum.
Intrigued, Lehmann did further research and found them in USA Today, Scientific Journal, The Boston Globe, and NPR. He then reached out to the four-man, Massachusetts-based comedy team. What he discovered was a group of extraordinarily talented, extremely funny men who love Monty Python and don’t find the humor in poking fun at those with Asperger’s—or any group of people, for that matter.
Asperger’s Are Us’ humor is born out of absurdity and the normalcies we all accept and take for granted. Its members—Noah Britton, Ethan Finlan, Jack Hanke and New Michael Ingemi—met at a North Shore, Massachusetts, summer camp for kids with Asperger’s in 2010. The rest is comedy history.
Inspired by the four men, their resolve, and their brand of humor, Lehmann set off to produce and direct an independently funded documentary film chronicling the Asperger’s Are Us story. Over the course of the past year, he has followed the troupe through the challenge of putting on the biggest show of their lives: their grand finale. But the film is about more than just comedy. It’s about friendship, relationships, honesty, love, imagination, coming of age, superheroes, never giving up, and breaking stereotypes.
As Lehmann says, “[This is] a group of people doing something cool instead of [having to] defend who they are.” Troupe member New Michael Ingemi sums it all up, “You can do things that are really, really great. Not in spite of having autism or Asperger’s, but through it.”
Currently, the Asperger’s Are Us: A True Story documentary is raising funds on IndieGoGo and is seeking donations for costs associated with shooting an epilogue, post-production (editing, sound design, etc.) and marketing.
A donation by you will directly impact the ability to complete the film and create a polished product for distribution. As a token of their appreciation, the filmmakers are offering “cool rewards” for donations. These rewards range from Thank Yous, T-shirts, and autographed movie posters to VIP premiere tickets and Executive Producer credits on the film.
To read more about this inspiring story, to donate to the film, and/or to follow the Asperger’s Are Us: A True Story documentary, visit: