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Janet Grillo at MIND Institute

Award-winning filmaker part of Lecture Series

January 8, 2020 @ 4:30 pm 6:00 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Janet Grillo, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, professor and parent of an adult child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), will present a provocative lecture on the emerging controversy about identity and representation in the ASD community on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 4:30 p.m.

Free event

The lecture, in the MIND Institute Auditorium, 2825 50th St. in Sacramento, will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the speaker. The event is free and does not require reservations, but seating is limited.

Grillo’s talk, part of the MIND Institute’s Distinguished Lecturer Series, will be presented from the perspective of a parent and a filmmaker. Grillo has produced, written and/or directed three feature films about living with, loving and raising a child on the autism spectrum. She will share clips from her fiction and documentary feature films, including “Fly Away,” “Jack of the Red Hearts” and “Autism: The Musical,” for which she won an Emmy as executive producer.

Identity and Representation: Whose story is it?

In her talk, titled “Identity and Representation: Whose story is it?” Grillo will discuss how the growing neurodiversity movement has sparked divisions between high-functioning people with ASD and those with lower functioning, and how some of the open wounds might be healed by involving more people with ASD in storytelling, whether in film, television or other mediums.

Grillo also will delve into the struggle for individuation between parent and child within the autism community and the role that parents can and often have to play in communicating for their child.

Grillo holds and MFA from the Tisch School of the Arts, where she currently serves on the faculty of the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. Prior to that she worked for 10 years at New Line Cinema, launching the 1990 cult comedy “House Party” series as senior vice president of production.


In its 17th season, the Distinguished Lecturer Series bring nationally and internationally-recognized researchers and advocates in neurodevelopmental disabilities to share their expertise with both specialists and community members. These monthly presentations (October 2019 – May 2020) are free and open to all. For more information about the Distinguished Lecturer Series, call us at 916-703-0253.

2825 50th St
Sacramento,CA95817United States
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