ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida filmmaker Robin Hofmann is excited to bring a feature-length production celebrating disability to the big screen.
“I do a lot of films with powerful messages and, and things that are important for people to see so that they can be entertained, but yet learning at the same time without them really knowing that they’re learning,” said Hofmann, who runs Hoffy’s Heart Productions.
Hofmann, who had a decadeslong history working with people with disabilities before crossing over into the entertainment industry, is working to bring representation to the forefront in her latest project, “I Win.”
It’s a story that follows a grieving teen, Jax, who after getting into a fight with the school bully to try and protect a girl, gets the opportunity to do community service instead of being suspended.
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It’s then that he meets Charlie, a young man with Down syndrome, Bailey, the girl he stood up for, and Juliette, another teen with Down syndrome. The four forge a friendship that’s soon threatened by Bailey’s violent ex.
“The beauty of this story that I feel is important is they change each other’s lives,” Hofmann said. “So there’s relationships not only with a typical person and a person with a disability, but relationships between two people with disabilities as well... I want to show the realities... of all the different things that go on in the lives of somebody with a disability—how their parents might respond, how people might respond, how they respond to situations.”
Hofmann said it’s also important her cast and crew is comprised of people with disabilities, and more importantly, people on a mission to make a difference.
“We’re not just trying to make this film, we’re trying to do something, we’re trying to make an impact, a difference. So I need every single person on my set to believe that too,” she said. “Because I feel that it’s going to be empowering. We’re going to lift each other up. We’re going to do the best job we can.”
Hofmann, whose own daughter, now 25, has autism and gave her script a seal of approval, said getting to know the young stars signed on to be a part of “I Win” has been a highlight.
As of now, the cast features Nate Simon, who’s gained a TikTok following as @makenategreat, and Lily Moore, who appeared as Rebecca Hall-Yoshida in Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever.”
To donate to the project’s Kickstarter and to find out more about the feature film, click here.
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