Annual AutFest Film Festival to Honor ABC'S The Good Doctor & Netflix's Atypical

ABC'S The Good Doctor and NETFLIX'S Atypical will be receiving special honors at the 2nd Annual AUTFEST International Film Festival presented by The Autism Society on April 28-29, 2018 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. The announcement was made by Matthew Asner, VP of Development for The Autism Society. AUTFEST is sponsored by Hyundai Motor America and SAG-AFTRA.

The Good Doctor

Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, "Bates Motel"), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital's surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. Season to date, The Good Doctor ranks as Monday's No. 1 drama broadcast show and airs Mondays at 10:00 p.m. ET on The ABC Television Network


Atypical is a coming-of-age dark comedy television series created by Robia Rashid for Netflix. Sam, an 18-year old on the autism spectrum portrayed by Keir Gilchrist, decides it's time to find a girlfriend, a journey that sets Sam's mom on her own life-changing path as her son seeks more independence. Gilchrist said about the character, "He's one person that is on the autism spectrum. He's a very specific character."  For a more accurate portrayal, Rashid consulted with Michelle Dean, a California State University professor who worked at UCLA's Center for Autism Research and Treatment.

The 2nd Annual AutFest International Film Festival is a wonderful platform to celebrate the roles that television and films are now playing in autism awareness. We are proud to honor this year’s outstanding film and television programs for their visionary portrayals of the complexity of autistic emotions, as we can see with our two spotlighted shows THE GOOD DOCTOR and ATYPICAL.
— Scott Badesch, President of Autism Society of America


Past AUTFEST honorees include Ben Affleck for The Accountant and Pixar's Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera for Inside Out. Celebrating autism awareness "from spectrum to screen," AutFest, now in its second year, is the only film festival solely dedicated to an autistic audience and filmmakers. Its mission is to further advance the well-being of all with an autism diagnosis, as well as to educate the nation about autism and the important need to fully respect and value each person with autism. AutFest wishes to celebrate films that promote autism awareness and support autistic filmmakers and artists that have chosen film as their profession. 

A number of special awards will be handed out at a special ceremony at the conclusion of AutFest on Sunday, April 29, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress as well as an Audience Award. A Best Autistic Filmmaker Award will be presented to an autistic filmmaker. And yes, I'm hoping to be in town to cover the event and the red carpet. Fingers crossed.

AutFest is also inviting student graphic designers to create a festival poster that depicts the festival's theme "from spectrum to screen." Winning posters will be used as the festival's official poster as well as for official materials such as t-shirts and postcards. The contest is hosted by "We Are Lions, a marketplace for products created and designed by individuals with disabilities. For details:

AutFest Honorary Committee Members include seven-time Emmy® winner and autism advocate Ed Asner, actress Kristen Bell, actor Dax Shepard, Emmy-winning actress/comedian Sarah Silverman, Golden Globe®-nominated actor Matthew Modine, Emmy-nominated actor Gary Cole, Autism Speaks co-founder Bob Wright, The Suzanne Wright Foundation president Liz Feld, Warner Bros. president and CCO Peter Roth and Autism Society's VP of Development Matt Asner