Local filmmaker Brian Cucek (centre) is hoping to raise enough funds to screen his new science fiction short film Outbound, starring Darrin Riga (right) and featuring Cucek’s brother, James, both of whom have autism. Cucek said most of the actors in the film have some type of developmental disabilities.                                Submitted photo

Local filmmaker Brian Cucek (centre) is hoping to raise enough funds to screen his new science fiction short film Outbound, starring Darrin Riga (right) and featuring Cucek’s brother, James, both of whom have autism. Cucek said most of the actors in the film have some type of developmental disabilities. Submitted photo

Local filmmaker to screen sci-fi film starring special needs actors

Film starring actors with developmental disabilities from Abbotsford, Mission needs $1,130 to hit big screen

With the Earth dying, a new planet has been discovered that could support human life. A crew of spacefarers is sent to scope out the planet, but the new world comes with more than they anticipated.

The voyagers find themselves trapped on a planet with a mysterious force that doesn’t appear too welcoming of the crew.

That’s the scene local filmmaker Brian Cucek hopes to bring to the big screen, with a little help from the community.

His short film Outbound features mainly people with special needs, mostly from Abbotsford and Mission, including lead Darrin Riga, who has autism.

Related: Man with autism debuts show on CIVL radio

“You always have those movies where, like, I am Sam or Rain Man, it’s people who don’t have special needs portraying the roles. Well, in this movie, we actually have people with special needs starring in their own movie,” Cucek said.

“It was just amazing to see how excited they got about filmmaking. At first, some of them were self-conscious about being on camera, but it was so quick that they started to adapt.”

Local filmmaker Brian Cucek is hoping to raise $1,135 to get his new science fiction short film Outbound, which features mainly actors with developmental disabilities, on the big screen at SilverCity Cinemas in Mission.
Submitted image
Local filmmaker Brian Cucek is hoping to raise $1,135 to get his new science fiction short film Outbound, which features mainly actors with developmental disabilities, on the big screen at SilverCity Cinemas in Mission.

Submitted image

Cucek hopes to show the movie at the SilverCity Cinemas in Mission in the next month or so, which is where the community comes in.

The theatre has given Cucek the green light to screen the movie, but he needs to raise a bit of money to make it happen.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the theatre showing, seeking just $1,135 to cover the costs of the showing. Admission for the show will be free, and because it isn’t a for-profit venture, any funds raised in excess of the GoFundMe goal will go to Autism Speaks Canada.

Related: Communitas Film Club in Abbotsford makes a western

The 30-minute science fiction action-drama follows Cucek’s first short film, spaghetti western Drifter, and Cucek said he has improved on his craft.

This time around, he said he was able to get stronger performances from the actors, including from Riga.

“He’s actually really starting to enjoy this movie-making process, as well,” Cucek said.

But that hasn’t come without work – Cucek used models for the ship and a green screen for special effects, which he edited into the film on his own, learning the trade through YouTube.

All told, the film took about a year to make, entirely on volunteer hours.

Related: Abbotsford film club puts focus on abilities

“When we were doing this movie, they (actors) had a lot of feedback,” Cucek said. “If anybody had any ideas, like ‘I want my character to be like this,’ or ‘I think we should move the story in this direction,’ I was like OK. We had a general story and everybody loved it, and then we all collaborated on the direction.”

Cucek comes from a background in support work, but said he has always had a passion for filmmaking. He said he feels like it’s time to jump into a new field after several years in support work for people living with developmental disabilities.

“From doing this movie, this is just something I wanted to do for the special needs community.”

Report a typo or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

To donate to get the movie screened, visit gofundme.com and search “Outbound film.”