Home > Awareness > A Letter From Janet Grillo – Writer, Director, & Producer of FLY AWAY

A Letter From Janet Grillo – Writer, Director, & Producer of FLY AWAY

As the mother of a child with disabilities, I was immediately thrust into the challenge every parent must face at some point: meeting the needs of your child when it is at great cost to yourself. Perhaps the very measure of love is what and how much we are willing to sacrifice. Although parenting someone with Autism is particular, the primal drive to do the best for one’s child is universal. Fly Away tells this story.

FLY AWAY is a personal film, derived from experience. As I have journeyed with other families and parents of children with special needs, I’ve witnessed great pain and extraordinary passion. I’ve also watched parents unable to place their children in full-time therapeutic residences, when it was clearly needed. While such placement is not best for all or even most children on the spectrum, it’s tragic when parents are too plagued with fear and guilt to make the choice when it is. If Fly Away eases the pain of even one parent’s torturous decision, or if it expands the heart of even one person untouched by Autism to accept our children and appreciate our struggles, it will have been well worth making. The authenticity of our story will provide insight and hope. Truth often does.

The reception that FLY AWAY has been receiving has been immeasurably gratifying to me, as a filmmaker and as a mother. We were thrilled to be selected as 1 of 8 out of 2000 submitted features, for Dramatic Competition in the esteemed SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST FILM FESTIVAL in Austin TX. We made our debut there this March. This month, we were honored by the Arizona International Film Festival, with BEST FEATURE and a SPECIAL JURY PRIZE to Ashely Rickards, for her amazing performance as MANDY.

I made FLY AWAY to share a journey with others who are on it, as well as with the larger community whose lives have not been touched by autism. As a service to and in solidarity with my fellow parents, in association with AUTISM SPEAKS, we are providing a series of One Night Only Special Event Screenings for Autism Speaks chapters in cities across the country, over the weekend of 4/15-17.

And now, after years of laboring with love, FLY AWAY will open in limited theatrical release in select cities. FLY AWAY will play in limited theatrical release in Los Angeles (Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills + AMC Covina 3 in Covina), New York (Village East Cinema in Manhattan) and Washington DC (West End Cinema), as of 4/15. And then, as of 4/22, in New Haven, CT (Bow Tie Theater). I’ll be on hand for Q+A’s in each city during the run (check theaters for show-times and specifics)

FLY AWAY will be available April 26th on DVD from Flatiron Film Company, and 10% of proceeds from DVD sales benefits Autism Speaks. Preorder from Amazon here or save to your Netflix queue.

You can also rent FLY AWAY on VOD starting April 26th; fifteen cents from each rental benefits Autism Speaks. Check your local cable or satellite provider for listings.

We all hope that FLY AWAY will reach the hearts and minds of many, as it now “takes flight.”

Thanks for your enthusiasm, interest and support,


Janet Grillo



Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here are theaters where you can buy tickets!

New York, N.Y. – Village East Cinema

Beverly Hills, Calif. – Laemmle Music Hall 3

Covina, Calif. – AMC Covina 30

Washington D.C. – West End Cinema

  1. Jeanine Cantrell
    April 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Why can’t it be viewed everywhere???I live in a small city…HOURS from a major city.
    Will this be put on DVD eventually?Would love to see it!

  2. stacey vendetti
    April 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Can I purchase a copy of this movie on DVD? I live on Cape Cod and don’t live near any of the major cities this film will be airing in. I am a proud parent of a son with Autism.

  3. Brigid Lawrence
    April 13, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I too would love to purchase a copy when and if it is available…not only for me but my entire extended family. I have an 18 year old son…just the clip made me cry.

    • Lori
      April 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      oh my gosh!!! i am so happy. my mom just watched the trailer and ordered the movie for me via Amazon…..

  4. Crista Perez
    April 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I finished watching this trailer and it brought tears to my eyes. I have a daughter who has Autism. Sometimes I feel alone with my struggles. A movie like this shows girls may have Autism as well as boys. I hear all the time from people who assume it only effects boys. Thank you.

  5. April 16, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I just watched the Trailer of Flyaway and I cryed because, The thought of letting go of your child, Any child! Being a parent of a child with Autism I know the struggles, how hard it can be on one parent and as well as both parents. My daughter is now thirteen yrs old and she still has her meltdowns daily and it may come a time in the future that I may have to let her go but, right now I can’t see myself letting go of her. This is hard for any parent to think about. God Bless!!

  6. June 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    We’d love it if someone would submit Fly Away to our film festival – Life and Death Matters http://www.ladmatters.com Sept. 1-4 in Boulder. It sounds like a great fit.

  7. July 28, 2011 at 6:30 am

    Looks like an interesting film. Do you think it could ever be made into a theatre production? Please post if available in the UK, I have a few friends interested in Autism.

  1. May 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm
  2. May 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm

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