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Autism awareness film gets the red carpet treatment

A new short film highlighting the challenges of growing up with autism is due to have its red carpet premier in Stoke-on-Trent.

'Twin Brothers Worlds Apart' tells the story of Kevin Healey and his identical twin brother Shaun from Staffordshire.

It shows the struggles the two boys encountered growing up in the early 1980s and the difficulties their parents faced to get a diagnosis.

Kevin has Asperger, a mild form of autism, this contrasts with Shaun who has a more severe non-verbal form.

The film gives examples of where autism is misunderstood. Sadly, even though we have come a long way since autism was first recognised in the late 60's, the condition is still not universally understood.

– Kevin Healey
Kevin Healey at the auditions for the film at the Queen’s Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent. Credit: ITV News Central

It stars people with an array of mental and physical disabilities to help inspire others into a career in showbiz.

Kevin and Shaun, are portrayed in the film by actors Callum Westbury and Anthony Fosbrook who auditioned for the parts in May 2016.

13-year-old Callum Westbury, who has autism himself, travelled with his parents from Walsall to put himself forward for the role of a young Kevin.

Callum Westbury from Walsall plays young Kevin. Credit: ITV News Central / Andrew Dobosz

The premier at Cineworld is for cast and crew only but the general public will be able to watch them walk the red carpet before the screening.

Kevin says the film is dedicated to his parents, his twin brother Shaun and his other siblings including sister Julie who picked the title of the film.

The short film produced by Andrew Dobosz and edited by Bruce Edgar, will be entered into several film festivals over the next few months.

Including the high profile Tribeca Film Festival, run by the actor Robert De Nero whose son has autism, and the Cannes Film Festival.

Kevin and his brother Shaun are portrayed in the film by actors. Credit: Kevin Healey