To Top


  • Icons by:


As an upcoming documentary, The Divergent Gift: Unboxing Autism focuses on deepening positive autistic identity through visualizing the various unseen struggles, challenges, gifts, abilities, and interests of those within the (so called) “mild” presentation of the autistic spectrum. Combining interviews with richly animated visualizations, the film explores many diverse experiences of this rising diagnosis demographic as well as a personal journey showcasing just what it means to wonder—am I in the spectrum? The goal is to create a resonant and captivating film made by the Neurodivergent and Autistic community, for the community—and beyond.

Today in the United States, approximately one in thirty six children are officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to the CDC. This diagnosis is becoming increasingly common each year (with growing awareness, qualifying criteria, etc.), and the increasing rate of “cases” continues to outpace societies ability to provide appropriate training for educators and others working to understand and support these Neurodivergent and Autistic children, teens, and adults. This surprising statistic also does not account for the “lost generation” and those that have either been misdiagnosed or have gone undiagnosed for years without appropriate support or validation, and are just now making sense of their recontextualized experiences of what autism means to them.

As every experience of those within the spectrum is unique from person to person (even with a diagnosis or self identifying), visualizing various special abilities, interests, and the challenges of difference is an important journey for normalizing, de-stigmatizing, and encouraging greater support, understanding, acceptance, and even appreciation. From educators to family and friends—or those curious and questioning about themselves—this film resonates on a deep and personal level that will captivate and inspire change in equal measure.

Ways to support and contribute

Contribute or sponsor today and become part of the journey! This film needs your engagement as we are accepting tax deductible donations through our 501(c) nonprofit Fiscal Sponsor, the Portland Art Museum and Center for an Untold Tomorrow—to finish this film that is now deep in post production.

ALL funds go directly to completing the film and Nuerodivergent and Autistic team of artists, animators, and creatives that are working passionately and tirelessly on this meaningful project. As we’re getting closer to the finish line, EVERY contribution means we can do more with the film—and that it will have a more significant impact as the final result!

Thank you for considering supporting this important documentary! And BIG thank you to our current partners, funders, and sponsors: Neurodivergent Insights, Vanderbilt University and the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation, University of Connecticut, Chemeketa Community College, the KUNI Foundation, Bridges Middle School, Funnelbox Inc. (a certified B-Corp), and all of our direct donation community! We could not do this without you all!

And for other neuro-affirming organizations out there interested in partnering or sponsoring, please feel free to reach out directly.

creative team!

We are proud to have assembled a stellar creative team directly from the Nuerodivergent and Autistic community. Working with production partner Funnelbox Inc, a B-Corp certified company, as well as North Pole Studio, we are thrilled to embark on the post-production side of this project! Please consider joining this journey by contributing to the film—as all funds raised during this campaign are going directly to this creative team and are completely Tax deductible thanks to our nonprofit Fiscal Sponsor, the Portland Art Museum and Center for an Untold Tomorrow (PAM/CUT).


With so many other “levels” of severity and intensity (not to mention their fluctuation from moment to moment) of experiences surrounding being Autistic, why focus on what is clinically referred to as “level 1” and formerly Aspergers?

Regrettably, this film cannot be everything for everyone, and there are SO many important topics surrounding autism… This film, though, can be a tool for advocacy and bring an often overlooked and growing “area” or profile of the spectrum into sharper focus. More and more individuals (of all ages and walks of life) are wondering about themselves and loved ones, and we hope this will help strengthen the conversation and also help drop some of that damaging stigma and the many assumptions that come with the word autism. From validation to inspiration, challenges and gifts, each person deserves recognition, and better understanding—and to be supported and ultimately embraced. This film is our attempt at supporting this often overlooked neighborhood of the Autistic community and Neurodivergent.

When will the film be released?

First things first, this documentary is deep in post-production, which takes a bit of time given the small team taking this on. The plan is for a Fall 2024 release. With that said, the more ongoing support, the more we can accomplish, so please feel free to get involved and help us get to the finish line :-)

Who is being interviewed? Can I make a recommendation?

Interview subjects (of Autistics) include Sue Nelson of the BBC, author and journalist Eric Michael Garcia, global advocate Dr. Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, Jordan James (The Autistic Photographer), writer and author Marian Schembari, advocate Maisie Soetanto, multimedia artist Ivan Vejar, and more!

I haven’t heard back after sending you an email—what’s up?

Thanks for the email, first of all! While we appreciate all of the email and inquiries, we cannot always get to them as quickly as we would like—and thank you for your patience! If you have references to other related websites and community resources that others might find valuable and helpful, please feel free to post on our Facebook page.

Who are you?

As a collaborative collective of creatives (say that five times fast), we represent a range of experiences and talents as members of the Neurodivergent and Autistic community. We believe in supporting positive Autistic identity and fostering and strengthening how neurodiversity is represented and accepted within larger communities, families, workplaces, and educational systems. We are also creatively corralled by award winning filmmaker, digital artist, and author Bret Malley. As an educator and professional multimedia artist, this project does not get more personal nor important. Part of this film will include his own journey of seeking an official diagnosis after his recent ten year old son’s diagnosis.

How can I get involved?

Glad you asked! Email us or send us a message and we can chat about involvement. We’re always on the lookout for talented animators, VFX artists, filmmakers, and other professional participants in the creative industry, especially if you identify or are otherwise a part of the Neurodivergent community.


Want to support, join the team, get the nesletter, or ask some questions, contact us here: