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Film Camp Opening For Youth With Autism

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) - Joey Travolta, the older brother of John Travolta, has been around the film industry for decades. He is an actor, producer, director and screenwriter. He has appeared in films alongside Eddie Murphy and Sylvester Stallone.

Travolta, founder and creative director for "Inclusion Films," is in Pittsburgh for the next two weeks with his film camp for youth with Autism.

Joey joined "The KDKA Morning News" to talk about the camp.

Travolta says that his daughter, who was having a film festival, had asked him to help out. He read an article in the paper about there being a former special education teacher being there, so two parents with children with Autism asked if they would let their kids into the festival.

One of the parents had a 15-year-old with Autism who wanted to submit a film, but didn't know how to make one, so Travolta mentored him.

"We made a little 10-minute documentary called 'Normal People Scare Me' that turned into a feature length documentary and then I started getting calls from all over the country to come and teach the kids on how to make a film," says Travolta.

Travolta says that everything that happens in everyday life goes into film making.

"It's a very inclusive environment because you work as a team, a lot of these kids don't get to do that, and it gives them a voice. It's a fun way to learn social skills and life skills through film making," says Travolta. "They are all so creative."

Travolta says if people want to see the film, they will have a screening at one of the theaters. Each year, they have themes for the festival. This year's theme is "Shark Tank."

Travolta says that Pittsburgh is a great town and anyone who is interested in the camp can go to a media day Thursday, July 16, at Winchester Thurston's campus in Shadyside from 10 a.m. to noon.

Listen to "The KDKA Morning News" with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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