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 “Wretches & Jabberers” partners with Autism Society to commemorate National Autism Awareness Month in April 2011 with nationwide theatrical release


Feature Doc Is Academy Award®-Winning Director Gerardine Wurzburg’s Latest Film

New York (January 5, 2011) – Academy Award®-winning director Gerardine Wurzburg is partnering with the Autism Society to theatrically release her feature length documentary, WRETCHES & JABBERERS, in April 2011 to commemorate National Autism Awareness Month. Area 23a, the specialized distribution company that focuses on event-driven films, will open WRETCHES & JABBERERS across the U.S. as “movievents,” which include a screening of the film and a live panel discussion featuring Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, self-advocates with autism, along with autism educators and family members who deal with the challenges of autism on a daily basis. WRETCHES & JABBERERS marks the latest documentary by producer/director Wurzburg who won the 1993 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject for her HBO film Educating Peter and was again nominated in 2005 in the same category for Autism Is a World.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Autism Society and be part of the organization’s call to action for the full inclusion of adults with autism in their communities,” said Wurzburg. “Larry and Tracy’s journey allowed us to portray the global face of autism, and now audiences across the U.S. will be able share in their story and better understand adults whose lives are affected by autism.”

WRETCHES & JABBERERS is a provocative mix of self-advocacy, personal narrative and travel adventure film that highlights the important needs of adults with autism, a group completely unrepresented on the world stage,” said Lee Grossman, President and CEO of the Autism Society. “We are proud to feature the film as this year’s premier activity for National Autism Awareness Month in April.”

About the Film
Directed by Academy Award® winner Gerardine Wurzburg (Educating Peter), WRETCHES & JABBERERS follows two men with autism, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, who embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability and intelligence. Determined to put a new face on autism, the men travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland, where at each stop they challenge public attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful message to reconsider competency. A poignant narrative of personal struggle that rings with intelligence, humor, hope and courage, WRETCHES & JABBERERS is about the lifesustaining power of relationships - the personal connections that people make through communication.

WRETCHES & JABBERERS features the song, “The Reasons Why,” by composer J. Ralph (The Cove, Man on Wire), which recently qualified for nomination consideration in the Original Song category for the 83rd Academy Awards®. The documentary’s soundtrack features original songs written and produced by J. Ralph and collaborations with Antony, Devendra Banhart, Paul Brady, Bonnie Bramlett, Vashti Bunyan, Martin Carthy, Judy Collins, Lila Downs, Vincent Gallo, David Garza, Ben Harper, Scarlett Johannson, Nic Jones, Norah Jones, Leah Siegel, Carly Simon, Stephen Stills, Ben Taylor and Bob Weir. The WRETCHES & JABBERERS album will be released on January 11, 2011, and a share of the profits will be donated to the Autism Society and the Wretches & Jabberers Fund of the Institute on Communication and Inclusion at Syracuse University.

WRETCHES & JABBERERS is produced by Douglas Biklen and Gerardine Wurzburg and funded by the Hussman Foundation which provides life-changing assistance through medical research, education, and direct aid to vulnerable individuals having urgent needs or significant disabilities. For more information, visit

About the Autism Society
The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. Together with over 150 chapters nationwide, the Autism Society increases public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocates for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and provides the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. For more information, visit

About Area 23a
Area 23a was founded on the concept of "value added cinema," and has initiated its program of "movievents" with national releases of films, such as, "Soundtrack for a Revolution", the Oscar shortlisted documentary explores the Civil Rights Movement through its powerful music, "movievent" tour featured prominent Civil Rights activists and top musicians. For more information, visit

Press Contacts

Wretches & Jabberers press contacts:
Scott Feinstein

Annalee Paulo

Autism Society press contact:
Amanda Glensky
301.657.0881, x9015

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