If you liked this article share it with your friends. They will thank you later.


Wilbert Wire

Film and Moving Image
image Courtesy Fedde Studios

Exciting things are happening in the Christchurch film scene with Director Ricky Townsend’s recent success at the Phoenix Film Festival for his sci fi feature film, ‘The Bostrom Scenario.’

His latest project is a short film, co-produced by Ella Waswo and Joseph Chamsey, called Wilbert Wire.

It’s a live action film looking at the experiences of being autistic in the creative landscape.

Producer Ella Waswo says the film came about through Ricky’s own experience.

“Ricky is autistic and he has always been interested how people with autism are portrayed in the media, and he started writing it a couple of years ago. when he sent me the script, I cried,” Ella says.

Ricky says non-autistic filmmakers have a history of turning autistic people into spectacles and he wanted to change that.

There are plenty of movies and shows that are about autistics, but not a lot written by autistics. This inspired me to tell the story of Wilbert Wire. A character who is not explicitly autistic in the text but acts as a stand in for the autistic experience; at least my own experience of it. Wilbert’s story is my way to bring these ideas together and confront the assumptions within them.”

Wilbert Wire is the only short film in Te Waipounamu that was funded in Season 8 of Day One Shorts (previously Someday Stories). Shooting began in April, and the film is set to be released later this year.

The film follows Wilbert, an autistic-coded robot and art student. His art teacher Cas tasks him with what she considers the most human thing of all, making art about the emotion of love. Wilbert’s mission to create this magnum opus takes him on a quest of slapstick miming, invisible trains, and a very special Mother’s Day gift.

The cast and crew spent five days filmed around Ōtautahi.

All of the crew was from Christchurch, including award-winning cinematographer John Chrisstoffels, 1st AD Kat Forrester, actor Kathleen Burns, actor Kim Garrett, and writer/actor Josiah Morgan as Wilbert Wire.

Ella, who’s been working in the film industry for a few years, says that the all- local crew was amazing.

“Ōtautahi has some amazing creators here and we shouldn’t underrate it. Everything you need to make a great film is right here.”

You can follow the film’s progress at @interframepictures on Instagram.

Image: Fedde Studios

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Fill in your details below.