2019 SXSW Film: Come as You Are

Directed by Richard Wong
Starring Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, Ravi Patel, Gabourey Sidibe, Janeane Garofalo, and C.S. Lee
CTDFF Rating: 5/5 Stars

Wong’s COME AS YOU ARE is based on the real life of Asta Philpot. The film tells the story of three young men with different disabilities who flee their overbearing parents for a road trip to a Canadian brothel that caters to people with disabilities in order to lose their virginity and embrace their independence. This film gets disability representation right, with writing that's spot on, comedic, and very true to life.

COME AS YOU ARE screened several times at SXSW, each time to a sold-out audience.

During the premiere’s Q&A, supporting actress Gabourey Sidibe said, “what drew a lot of us to this project is that you just don’t see this very often.” Others in the cast and crew followed with, "what we tried to do was proper representation, not misrepresentation."

As a viewer, I believe they achieved this. A few cast members had disabilities, while the ones playing a role did extensive research, reaching out to their own friends and family with disabilities to ensure accurate representation.

“This is a big stepping stone for people with disabilities, to be seen in films like this,” remarked Wong.

I felt like I was in this film as I was watching it. From the very first scene, I was captivated by the depth and exploration of disability, the roles of caregivers, and the independence we all seek for ourselves.

A remake of the award-winning, critically acclaimed 2011 Belgian film, HASTA LA VISTA, COME AS YOU ARE is an absolute must see!

Above: Asta Philpot (seated, right) with cast and director of COME AS YOU ARE.

More: Director Richard Wong Discusses His Film COME AS YOU ARE – SXSW Filmmaker In Focus


April 25, 2019, Jennifer Bracy- Development Specialist & CTDFF staff

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