A teenage girl running through a field with a city skyline behind her

Unspoken & Deej

ReelAbilities Film Festival

14-year-old Emma Zurcher-Long sees and hears the world, as she put it, in ‘Hi-res, technicolor and surround sound’.

While it may not always be easy for people to understand where Emma is coming from, it has become her mission to teach the world how potent, powerful and dynamic the life of an autistic teenager actually is.

To achieve this Emma uses the keyboard to strengthen her communication with others. Applying her insightful writing as a catalyst and remedy to the fear and misunderstanding surrounding autism, Emma presents UNSPOKEN as a collaborative self-portrait. Her quest to enrich our understanding of what it means to be human takes Emma to conferences and schools across North America, where she shares a message of hope, love and acceptance.

As a chronicle of a teenager coming into her own, and as a work advocating for the rights of all peoples, UNSPOKEN is a lesson on, and celebration of, living an authentic life.

This is Emma’s debut as co-director.

DJ Savarese (“Deej”) finds comfort in words, as expressed by his poetry, which belies his high school senior standing. Yet he only “speaks” through a text-to- voice synthesizer. Adopted by a loving and supportive family, Deej navigates the college admissions process as a young adult on the autism spectrum, while confronting obstacles to inclusion.

Followed by a Q&A with Unspoken Director Geneva Peschka.

Tickets: Unspoken & Deej

For more information about the films: Unspoken & Deej