Save the date for the premiere of A.B.L.E.'s second feature film, THE SPY WHO KNEW ME!

Exact time and location TBA. Stay tuned for more details! 

A riff on the classic spy-adventure genre epitomized by James Bond, THE SPY WHO KNEW ME features an ensemble cast of 20 young adult actors with Down syndrome playing some some unique characters in an action-packed story. Working with a professional film crew and dedicated teaching artists, actors will build confidence while developing skills like speech and communication, focus, creativity, and teamwork.

The plot follows super spy Tabitha Link and the ladies of the all-female agency U.N.I.T.E. Following an anonymous tip, Tabitha winds up at the scene of a jewelry heist where she sees a familiar face from her past. She and her fellow spies must race to find the connections between a series of thefts, a top-secret military experiment, and several missing operatives before they lose themselves completely to the evil organization E.C.H.O.  

A.B.L.E. co-founder and teaching artist Lawrence Kern, crafted the screenplay for THE SPY WHO KNEW ME with each actor’s individual strengths and personality in mind. Kern, who also directed the film, incorporated monologues the cast wrote themselves about who they are, what they love, and what they can do. The story celebrates differences and stresses the importance of holding on to what makes us unique. “People are more than one thing,” Tabitha reminds us. “A world where everyone’s the same isn’t worth living in.”

Filming took place in August 2016 at a variety of locations around the city including The Field Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Formally Modern Tuxedo, Fey & Co. Jewelers, and The Union League Club. The spies also got to drive cars and fly jetpacks using the green screen facilities at Space Stage Studios. Click here to read more about filming and see behind the scenes photographs on our blog.

Funding for the film was made possible through a campaign on crowd-funding platform, Hatchfund. Donations ranged from $10 to $2000, and 142 individual donors contributed a total of over $22,000 in exchange for exclusive project “perks” including autographed scripts, film props, and invitations to an exclusive staged reading of the screenplay with the cast and crew.

The finished film will be about 70 minutes long and will be shared at schools and community centers around Chicago, and on the local and international film festival circuit to help raise awareness and show what individuals with Down syndrome can do when they are given equal access to creative opportunities.