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May 18, 2015 9:49 AM ET

Archived: “Jennifer and the Red Shoes”, a transmedia film project about a woman, autism, and the importance of her red shoes

iCrowdNewswire - May 18, 2015

“Jennifer and the Red Shoes”


Jennifer and the Red Shoes” is a transmedia film project about a woman, autism, and the importance of her red shoes.   

The feature-length film will follow the hyper-real adventures of Jennifer O’Toole, the Founder of Asperkids.com and author of 6 best-selling, award-winning books on Autismand Aspergers who has a green thumb for drawing out the talents, joys, and abilities of others around her.  With her bubbly charm, retro ruby red slippers–and what has been termed her “relentless positivity–” she challenges stereotypes about women, and defies labels on ideas previously ascribed to those on the Autism Spectrum.  Yet despite Jennifer’s exuberant approach to life–in the film–she will also discuss painful personal experiences surrounding issues frequently faced by women and girls on the Spectrum such as bullying,sexual abuse, eating disorders, being misdiagnosed and more; all in hopes of inspiring others to rise above arduous challenges.  

We believe that through the viewing of the audaciously engaging film we seek to make onJennifer, more women and girls on the Autism Spectrum will give themselves permission to LIVE. We also feel that any individual who society defines as different, will find great value in the words, findings, courage, obstacles, and experiences of the vivaciously-retro, and hyper-real, Jennifer O’Toole.   This is why our team is embarking on a mission to raise $350,000 to make a film about Jennifer’s tenacious journey to inspire, challenge, and specifically empower women and girls on the Autism Spectrum This is why we are asking you today to make a contribution towards sharing Jennifer’s story.


In the three short years since author Jennifer O’Toole began her work with the public, she’s advised the President’s Council at the White House, Princess Sophie of the United Kingdom, and Princess Marie of Denmark. She’s been counted among actress Holly Robinson Peete’s Autism Parent Superstars” and recently, the [in]famous Amy Poehlereven gave Jennifer a “Keep it up, chick!” shout out on her Smart Girls social media.            

On making a film about her life, Jennifer admits “I’ll be privileged to share my own story. To share the universal truths and absolute reality that Autism isn’t always easy, it isn’t always pretty, but it can be so much more–so vibrant and wonder filled and bursting with imagination!”  She believes this film will be “a story of what it is to live as a woman…yes who is not typical, but who is relatable, familiar, because she—I—am simply another woman in progress on the HUMAN SPECTRUM.  Through this film, she HOPES to invite others to “live with joy, authenticity, and even magic!”  


The primary focus of this multi-platform project is a film, but we’ll also engage the public through social media, community events, a website, and other forms of pre-release content issued in phases leading up to the film’s release. If we achieve our funding goals early on, we target releasing the film Summer of 2016.

The feature-length adventure film will be shot with [2] HD cameras and will follow Jennifer while on the road engaging others through her public appearances and personal interactions.  We’ll also spend time with her privately in order to more deeply reflect on salient issues she is exploring during the writing of her upcoming memoirs.

Our goal is to begin shooting this July 8-11 at the 46th Annual Autism Society’s National Conference where Jennifer O’Toole will keynote with Temple Grandin to specifically discuss issues faced by women and girls on the Spectrum.

The film will be targeted for release to a general audience through film festivals, theaters, television, and interactive screenings at conferences.

Why a general audience? Because as filmmakers, not only are we interested in what we envision Jennifer’s colorful and hopeful views on life may represent to an even greater community of people with Autism, we are interested in what she represents universally for EVERYONE. For no matter if you fall within the Autism Spectrum, you’re navigating the cusp, or you’re nowhere near, aren’t we each still wired just a little bit differently?  This is why Jennifer’s story matters. This is why we are asking you to contribute to making it possible.


Crowd Funding [kroud-fuhn-ding] noun : The act of many people contributing money to a project in exchange for a good or a service; especially to expand and democratize opportunity.  

Crowd funding not only allows independent filmmakers to exponentially reach out to diverse audiences that democratically become engaged stakeholders in a project, crowd funding also provides future distributors a preview of the value of a built in audience–a sort of crowd validation.  

After careful research of various crowd funding platforms, we chose Rocket Hub because they are considered the world’s fastest growing crowd funding machine and are in partnership with the A&E Channel which already increases our opportunities for visibility and distinguished partnership. Additionally, Rocket Hub has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Economist, NBC, NPR, ABC, and more.


The quantifiable numbers of our pre-release audience are one of the key indicators used by distributors to measure the strength, marketability and future success of this kind of project [the crowd validation part]. It lets stakeholders know that that there is VALUE and and an AUDIENCE for this film. As such and because we want company on this adventure, we inviteAutism and Aspergers organizations [and related stakeholders] to partner with us NOWsupport and grow our community.  We also welcome your confirmed invitations to host future interactive screenings that will engage and inform stakeholder communities.  For more information on partnership and cross promotional opportunities, please contactNatKendricks@gmail.com . If you contact us during the campaign, we’ll post our partnership on this platform, and gladly announce it via social media!

“Jennifer and the Red Shoes”
WEBSITE [coming soon]


The funds will be allocated to pay for production and post production expensesProductionexpenses involve: equipment rental and purchases, stock materials, travel and transportation, fuel, insurance, office expenses, shipping and handling expenses, promotions, campaign management, product fulfillment, accounting, legal fees, production crew, catering and craft services, location expenses, and Rocket Hub crowd funding processing fees. Post-Production expenses involve music and sync licensing, stock and archival footage rights, original score, insurance, editing, a post-production house, a color correcting house, sound sweetening, titles and graphics, marketing and distribution, public relations, legal fees, accounting, film festival fees and expenses.  

Quantifiably, to make the project possible, it will take:

  • 3,500 people contributing $100 or
  • 7,000 people contributing $50 or
  • 14,000 people contributing $25

Would you like to see this film happen? Can  you help us reach 3,500 to 14,000 people that would be interested in this story?  If so, invite them today to become a friend and contributor to “Jennifer and the Red Shoes!”



Jennifer O’Toole


  • Joe Serrano ~ Director, Internal Locus Films
  • Amy Serrano ~ Director + Chief Creative Officer, Siren Studios
  • May Wen ~ Production Manager
  • John David Ash ~ Camera
  • Nat Kendricks ~ Production Assistant
  • Celso Dolmo ~ Editing


  • Sydna Barocco
  • Robert Brooker
  • Michelle Dolmo
  • Suzin Giuliano
  • Ron Guarino
  • Anne Louise Holmes-Richards
  • Dorthe Jensen
  • Diane M. Kennedy
  • Rebecca Maloy
  • Mandi C. Mathis
  • Courtney Elizabeth Matthews
  • Maxwell McCormick
  • Benjamin McKown
  • Janine McKown
  • Amy Myers
  • Lesley Pacey
  • Mark Paine
  • Stephanie Palacino
  • Marc Paneque
  • Allison Pomenta
  • Diego Quiros
  • Pat Reagan
  • Laura S. Regan
  • Jimmie Rodgers
  • Luly Rodriguez
  • Emily Sielewicki
  • Janice Sielewicki
  • Anne Skov Jensen
  • Rachel Sloan
  • Jess Stombaugh
  • Richard C. Thomas
  • Suzin Triolo
  • Nina Vangerow
  • Patricia Ventura
  • Violet Vliet Flores
  • Jaymee Vowell


Project Leaders

  • Amy Serrano

    Amy Serrano

    Member since: May 12, 2015


    Award-Winning filmmaker Amy Serrano is the Chief Creative Officer and Director ofSiren Studios.   At Siren Studios, she writes, directs, shoots and produces her own films, and along with her team, manages, produces and consults on the works of others.

    To date, Amy’s most important work involved shooting, producing, writing and directing the feature-length and critically acclaimed documentary, The Sugar Babies: The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic

    Narrated by renowned Author Edwidge Danticat and composed of field recordings coupled with outside testimony, the film explores the lives of the descendants of the first Africans delivered to the island of Hispaniola for the bittersweet commodity that once ruled the world.  Up until recently, these very same people continued to be trafficked from Haiti to the Dominican Republic to work on sugar plantations under circumstances that can only be considered modern day slavery.   Besides the awareness created on issues leading to nearly eliminating human trafficking and child labor, the screenings and advocacy surrounding this film led the U.S. Department of Labor to finally place sugar imported from the Dominican Republic on the list of products to be made with forced or child labor.

    Amy also wrote, produced and directed the U.S. co-production for the feature length filmMOVE!  Produced in Rome, Italy and distributed throughout Film Festivals in Europe, MOVE!is a globally collaborative film composed by 11 filmmakers in 6 continents exploring the dispassionate state of humanity through varied human emotions. 

    Her body of work includes directing and producing the PBS broadcast A Woman’s Place: Voices of Contemporary Hispanic-American Women featuring Isabel Allende, Dr. Antonia Novello, Bianca Jagger, Maria Hinojosa, Esmeralda Santiago, Marjorie Agosin and other barrier breaking Hispanic-American Women. The film features the music of Tori Amos.  Amy also produced the award-winning Adios Patria: The Cuban Exodus narrated by Andy Garcia (Berlin Film Festival, Best Documentary New York Independent Film and Video Festival, PBS).  She executive produced the PBS broadcast and Emmy-Award nominatedCafe con Leche: Voices of Exiles’ Children and associate produced the Emmy-Awardnominated Havana: Portrait of Yesteryear narrated by Gloria Estefan for PBS. Amy has been honored by the City of Miami with a proclamation making October 27 AMY SERRANO DAY.   Twice, she’s been named a Woman of Today in Glamour Magazine.   Glamour Magazine has also named Ms. Serrano a Woman of the Year.  During Women’s History Month, she was presented a Mentor Award by the Public School System and named aDistinguished Female Role Model by the Public Library System.    She was also one of 8 women profiled in a women’s empowerment documentary produced by Clinique/ MAC/ Estee Lauder entitled Evolution of Woman.  This national exhibit was first unveiled at New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion and shot by award-winning fine art photographer, Sandi Fellman. 

    Amy is a recipient of the Tesoro Award in Art and Culture.   She’s been awarded a prestigious Fellowship with the National Hispana Leadership Institute [NHLI] in D.C. which involved Leadership Studies at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government, theCenter for Creative Leadership, on Capitol Hill, and with various recognized leaders in social and civic change.  She was named a Latina of Excellence in Hispanic Magazine.   She was selected as 1 of 15 top Hispanic Leaders in the United States by the Spanish Embassy in Washington D.C. and participated in a Diplomatic Exchange in Spain with their top leaders in the social, political, economic and cultural arenas.

    Following this diplomatic mission, Amy was profiled in a book on Young Hispanic-American leaders in the United States published by the Spain-U.S. Council.  She was later selected to be profiled in the Florida Hispanic Yearbook, and was then named a Mujer Vanidades in Vanidades MagazineMEGA TV has named Amy one of the most influential and recognized Hispanics in the United States.She was also recently chosen as a subject of an upcoming documentary on female leadership in the United States.

    Currently, Amy is writing, shooting and directing a film on the last living Tuskegee Airman in Louisiana titled AIRMAN: The Extraordinary Life of Calvin G. Moret, and executive producing a documentary called, The ASPIration Journal, a film that will transform society’s views of those living with Asperger’s, while inspiring all ASPIes to rise above.   She has other film projects currently in development and has also just released a book of poems, Of Fiery Places and Sacred Spaces based on the geography of places and people.   

    A published poet, writer, essayist and speaker of 4 languages, she remains a committed Senior Fellow of the Human Rights Foundation in New York; a Fellow of the National Hispana Leadership Institute in Washington D.C.; a Board Member of Voz de Mujer, a women’s empowerment and leadership organization based in Texas; an Advisory Council Member of the Faulkner Society’ in New Orleans; a Member of the Spanish Embassy’s Hispanic Leader’s Association in Washington D.C.;  and was appointed a founding Board Member to United Nations Ambassador Armando Valladares’ non-governmental organization, Human Rights for All.   

    She also enjoys being a featured guest lecturer at colleges, universities, and cultural centers giving talks on the intersection of arts and activism; women and children’s rights; hope during times of injustice; the ability to impact public policy through the communication arts; and many other inspiring themes.

    Her most important mission is to finish writing the manuscript for “Suffer the Children;” a novel based on the adventures of a globetrotting, documentary filmmaker, and champion of seemingly lost causes.

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