On the set of Stuart Quinn's film Beautiful Bear

Stuart Quinn, a filmmaker on the autism spectrum, has created a short film about a young autistic man’s struggles with sensory issues and social anxiety, and his ability to seek solace in his childhood teddy bear.

Here, Stuart writes about the background and inspiration for his film…

Since I was young, I struggled with communication.

Movies, being a visual medium, helped me understand to communicate and also helped me understand emotions. When I started to make short films I wanted to tell a story about the theme of communication, the struggles and how I overcome them.

I made a student film called ‘A.Sydrome’ which is about how I see the world with Asperger’s. I always connect to films that tell their stories from a subjective point of view as it puts the audience in the shoes of the character and, for me, makes it easier for me to follow the characters’ struggle, not just in visual terms, but through sound and music too.

Beautiful Bear as a project started back in 2017, as I wanted to tell a story about someone with a teddy bear. Soft bears have always been something of comfort to me, and I based it around my experiences of what having soft toy bears had brought to me, since I was young.

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The script took a while to develop, as I struggled with the theme and it struck me it needed to be about communication. Also, it had to tell the story from the lead character’s point of view (the lead actor, Luke Fox, is also on the autism spectrum), how they see it. I filmed it in 2019 for three days, and it was completed in post production in summer 2020.

The reaction to the film has been positive, we were lucky enough to get into some film festivals all over the world and I’m pleased it is now released online for everyone to see. We put it online on Boxing Day (2022). The reaction has been positive and I’m getting very long messages from people who really connect to the story and theme.

I have another project in the planning which will be filmed this year (2023).

You can watch Stuart’s short film ‘Beautiful Bear’ via YouTube, by clicking here.