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Autism documentary asks 'what is normal, anyway?'

A crowd watches the documentary "Normal People Scare Me Too" at Inclusion Films in downtown Bakersfield, Calif., on Tuesday night, May 24, 2016. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Inclusion Films in downtown Bakersfield was filled Tuesday night for a screening of "Normal People Scare Me Too."

It is a sequel to the film "Normal People Scare Me," which was made 10 years ago by Taylor Cross.

"It's a sort of forced self-reflection," he said of the documentaries, which chronicle the lives of several people and families dealing with autism.

The film's crew, including Cross, predominantly consisted of people on the autism spectrum.

"It's mainly the idea that it was by people with autism, for people with autism or those that want to know about it. That makes it unique in comparison to other documentaries," said Cross.

Some of those who worked on the movie were graduates of Inclusion Films, a workshop started by Joey Travolta that trains adults with disabilities to work in the movie business. Travolta was also a producer on "Normal People Scare Me Too."

"It's exhilarating, to see our students evolve and work on these projects on a professional level," said Dale Oprandy, who runs Inclusion Films in Bakersfield.

"They are normal, they're just like you and I," he said of the autistic crew members. "If anything, they they look at the world in a different perspective, in a way you and I take for granted."

In the course of creating these two documentaries, Cross said a lot has changed. Including the definition of the word "normal."

"What was strange at first is becoming the new normal," he said.

For more information on the film, check out Normal Film's website here.

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