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'Fly Away' Q&A this Friday

In this week's issue, you can read my roundtable discussion with the women of "Fly Away," which recently premiered at SXSW and is receiving a platform release this weekend. The film, from writer-director Janet Grillo, tells the story of single mother Jeanne (Beth Broderick), struggling to raise her severely autistic teenage daughter Mandy (Ashley Rickards).

April happens to be Autism Awareness Month, and Grillo will be present after the 9:45 p.m. opening night L.A. screening for a Q&A about the film and real-life issues of autism and parenting an autistic child. You can find more information on the event and where the film will be playing in New York and L.A. this weekend on the "Now Playing" page of the film's official site.

Lest I make this sound like a homework assignment, I need to point out that the film is a funny, sweet tale that anyone can relate to, regardless of what you know about autism. It earned great reviews out of SXSW and I couldn't be more pleased that a truly indie movie has distribution. Most of all, I have to sing the praises of the entire cast--Broderick and Rickards are flawless, and there's a great turn by "Ally McBeal" star Greg Germann that deserves recognition, as well. It's a great showcase for the stars, as well as Grillo, making her feature debut with the film.

-- Jenelle Riley

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