Jersey City, NJ.
Director John Asher’s hypnotizing Po, a runaway hit with audiences at various film festivals including Albuquerque, Houston and Palm Beach, will screen at The Golden Door International Film Festival on September 24. The film, starring Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) and newcomer Julian Feder, tells of a recently widowed man who must learn to cope with becoming a single father to his 10-year old autistic son.
Kaitlin Doubleday (TV’s Empire), Andrew Bowen (TV’s The Division), Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), Caitlin Carmichael (300 : Rise of an Empire) and Bryan Batt (Mad Men) co-star. Po is a story close to Asher’s heart, as his son has autism, and the filmmaker hopes the movie will bring a greater understanding and recognition of autism to the world.
In a recent interview, Asher said the film needed someone to captain it who was experienced with the subject. He was just one of those involved very familiar with autism. “You shouldn’t be making the film unless you have some sort of first-hand experience about what the story is about,”.
The sons of screenwriter Colin Goldman, actor Gorham and the daughter of composer Burt Bacharach are also on the spectrum. “Every piece of dialogue that Po had and every movement that he did was thought out and deliberated on,” Asher said. “We really didn’t want it to feel forced, and we didn’t want to do things we’ve never seen an autistic child do before. We wanted to stay true so people who are not affected by autism can learn something from watching this film.”
Asher, whose previous credits include the comedy Diamonds starring Dan Ayrkoyd and Lauren Bacall and Dirty Love starring Jenny McCarthy, is the son of famed TV legend William Asher, the original director of legendary sitcom I Love Lucy and creator of Bewitched.
Po is as educational as it is entertaining. “The movie is, for me, about teaching acceptance and about love — that love supersedes everything”, the filmmaker said. “But on top of that, it’s to educate people who aren’t aware of what parents and what children of autism go through on a daily basis.”
See Po at the Golden Door International Film Festival in New Jersey on September 24 at 6pm. The Golden Door International Film Festival was founded in 2010 by actor Bill Sorvino and a small group of dyed in the wool Jersey Cityites. The renegade band of Old Time Jersey City residents set out on a mission to shine a light on Jersey City, New Jersey and to provide an equal platform to all filmmakers well known and otherwise.
Since that time, Golden Door International Film Festival has anchored itself as a cultural focal point of Jersey City.