"I’m Miles Levin. I’m 23 and I've had epilepsy since I was 5. My independence is very limited and I find freedom in filmmaking. I’ve been working with the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California for many years, at their ‘Camp Coelho’ - a camp for kids with our condition. I’ve met countless kids who say they’ve never made friends before, many of them 16 or 17 years old. The cruelty they’ve experienced is heartbreaking to hear about. I wanted to put my own skills to work to see if I could make a difference.
Recently I noticed that I had never seen a character with epilepsy in film. This is especially disturbing because movies do so much to determine what we perceive as normal in our culture. Despite being as common as breast cancer, we never see epilepsy on screen, and certainly never in a positive light.
My new short film is called “Under the Lights”, it’s about a boy with epilepsy who is so desperate to feel like a ’normal’ kid that he goes to prom knowing the lights will make him have a seizure. The film stars Pearce Joza and Alyssa Jirrels, Disney Channel stars who took a big interest in this cause. We also feature Greg Grunberg (Starwars, Heroes, Felicity) a long time advocate for epilepsy awareness, as well as two Emmy winning producers. Stigma is a simple beast. It’s about a lack of information. People are afraid of what they don’t know. People also generally do not show up to awareness events for causes they’ve never heard of. My theory was simple. If we could make a film about a character with epilepsy, we could reach all kinds of people at film festivals and online, sending them home with a new point of reference. If they feel something for a character they’ve never ‘met', they’ll be less likely to be cruel to their neighbors in real life. In order for the film to fulfill our mission of spreading awareness, we need to build an audience ahead of time, finding venues and festivals who want to see our work! If you know someone or would like to spread the word, we could really use the help. We are finishing editing and hope to submit later in the year!
Please follow us @Underthelightsfilm to learn more and stay in the loop, we can’t wait to share OUR Epilepsy Positivity with you :)
Watch the video about the project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1339221505/under-the-lights-a-short-film?fbclid=IwAR3V2AytDROBd46-H6zQcbO9WU4KNEVeuVwHjQ6rkAW1XHUtFFsGUZEpOTE