Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dyslexic Sufferers Test Screen Dislecksia Doc

It's not just the director, Emmy winner Harvey Hubbell V, who is dyslexic. For the comic documentary Dislecksia: The Movie, he was joined by a dyslexic co-writer (Jeremy Brecher) and several other dyslexic crew members.

The film, intended for 2012 release, test screens tomorrow in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania after similar recent showings in Gainesville, Tallahassee, Princeton, and Ocean City, New Jersey. The humor of the film notwithstanding, Hubbell's struggles with the learning disability were quite monumental, partly because they started back in the 1960s, long before today's greater awareness of the condition and variety of treatment options.

From Hubbell's Director's Statement:

Years later, it became apparent to me that I was born at the wrong time to get help with dyslexia in school. It wasn’t until 1975, a few years before I graduated from high school, that the first laws were passed to identify students with learning disabilities and to support their rights to education. It was too late for me. At sixteen years old I was already considered damaged goods...

In 2003, my crew and I decided it was time to make a film about dyslexia and show how things had changed since I was in grade school. We were anxious to get answers to all of the questions swirling through my head. What are educators doing today? How do students with dyslexia get treated in school now? Since nearly one in seven students has a form of dyslexia, teachers must have new ways of teaching, and the world must be a better place…right?

The editor and other co-writer on the project, Eric Gardner, is a longtime member of the team that puts together the CBS reality TV show Survivor. Though the documentary's approach is humorous, the message is serious, and is one Hubbell has been working on painstakingly for years now. Rough early footage was screened at the 2009 Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.

Hubbell co-produced the project with his wife Andie Haas, an Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker in her own right. Among the advisors for Dislecksia were veteran producer Hunt Lowry, Will Baker, founder of the Dyslexia Foundation, and Kenneth Pugh Ph.D., senior scientists at Yale University's Haskins Lab.

[Dislecksia: The Movie]

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