April 18, 2014

‘I am in here’ wins two awards

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A film still from ‘I am in here,’ written by and starring Mark Utter (right) and co-directed and edited by Williston resident Jim Heltz. (Observer courtesy photo).

A film still from ‘I am in here,’ written by and starring Mark Utter (right) and co-directed and edited by Williston resident Jim Heltz. (Observer courtesy photo).

Observer staff report

A film co-directed and edited by Williston resident Jim Heltz won two awards at the 2013 Vermont International Film Festival.

“I am in here:  A view of my daily life with good suggestions for improvement from my intelligent mind” won The Ben & Jerry Award, which is given to recognize and support a Vermont filmmaker who, through the lens, documented and raised awareness of an important social or environmental issue with verve and ingenuity. It also won the VCAM Award, given to the Vermont Filmmakers’ Showcase audience favorite.

The docu-drama chronicles a day in the life of Mark Utter, using humor to highlight the contrast between perceptions of Utter and the man inside. Utter was born with a form of autism that leaves him unable to say what he wants. Utter wrote the screenplay through supported typing—a slow and meticulous form of communication that requires extreme focus. Emily Anderson co-directed and produced the film. The screenplay is by Utter and the film stars Utter and Paul Schnabel.

“We really loved new feeling of sitting with wonderful awards and you know loving our fun film,” Utter wrote after receiving his awards.

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