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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > Summer June 2022 > Meet our Students: Orr Weisberg Sees Only Abilities, Not Disabilities

Meet our Students: Orr Weisberg Sees Only Abilities, Not Disabilities

Beit Berl graduate Orr Weisberg won 3rd place in the student film competition of the Docaviv Film Festival for his film, Everybody Knows Jack. A native of Sde Warburg, Orr was diagnosed with the autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). From the age of 6 to age

12, Orr and his family lived in Los Angeles. There he met Jerry and Jack -- the protagonists of the film he would create 10 years later – and they became friends. Upon returning to Israel, Orr studied in the special education track at the Democratic School of Kfar Saba. After completing national service, he studied in a film course for people with disabilities, then transferred to the Film Studies Department at Beit Berl College.

Why film? Why Beit Berl?  From a young age, I was interested in film. I photographed as a child, later moving onto video. I studied in Tel Aviv, but transferred to Beit Berl. Beit Berl's Film Department has an amazing staff, great lecturers, it's close to home, though there are students from Ashdod who chose to study here. Beit Berl is a unique place.

What was it like being a film student - an autistic film student? Autism did not limit me, I gained abilities no one else has. When I photograph, I can see things other people are not able to see, their uniqueness and potential. I had no problem working in a team, but outside of school I preferred to go home, while everyone went for drinks. I had no desire to hang out with them, it was hard for me. But the guys tried to bring me closer, I tried too. When invited to parties, I would go, because at that point, I wanted to be with them. They became my good friends.

Why did you choose this subject for your film? It was important to me to make the film to show how Jerry treats Jack as a person with desires, and tries to find out what he feels and wants. Not many people would do what Jerry choses to do with such great love. I decided it was the film I wanted to make. The Film Department approved, even though the subject is not routine, and even though the location for filming is in the US. [Jerry has been treating Jack, his partner's son, since Jack was 9, when the illness broke out. Orr knew Jack when they would play and run together; today, Jack is confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk].

What did you hope to achieve through your film? I wanted to prove to everyone that I am capable of making such a film, and maybe, in doing so, I can give hope to the parents of children on the autistic continuum, that their children can be successful.

Orr won 1st place in the pitching competition of the 2020 Docaviv Film Festival, beating a dozen students from film schools throughout the country. Today Orr works as a videographer in Amdocs' media unit.


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