With the piano, a tuba and his mother at his side, an autistic young man prepares for a life-changing concert.
Young musicians all share the same aspiration - to make an emotional connection with an appreciative audience. As We Are follows a group of inspiring young players on the autism spectrum as they prepare for a benefit concert with local professionals in Annapolis, Maryland. Uplifting and brimming with youthful energy, As We Are celebrates both the differences and the common goals of all the musicians involved in one night’s magical performance.
Michael R. Faulkner is an award-winning filmmaker based in Baltimore, MD., where his formative experiences in film production working on set with John Waters and scouting locations for the HBO series, "The Wire" sparked a creative dedication to the city. He is passionate about telling unique stories of collaboration and imagination that awaken new perspectives. His work has screened in festivals around the world, achieving critical acclaim with such projects as the short film, John and James and the feature documentary, SHU-DE! (Let’s Go).
Robin Miller Ungar, a speech-language pathologist, had dreamed of making documentary films for years. Robin found the subject for her first film when she encountered the Vocal Vidas in a small chapel in Santiago de Cuba. Soy Cubana, her documentary short about that Afro-Cuban a cappella female quartet, went on to 60 film festivals, winning audience awards and jury prizes around the world. A year later, a childhood friend approached Robin about documenting a concert in which autistic musicians collaborate with music students and professionals from their Maryland community. Having devoted much of her professional practice to treating clients with communication challenges, she jumped at the opportunity to make a film on the topic. The result is the short documentary, AS WE ARE.