James, a teenager with autism, knows what it’s like to feel like an outsider. He wrestles between standing back and doing what he knows is right.

Touch Compass: Born Different

Touch Compass is Aotearoa’s leading professional performance company that is disability led. We were commissioned to create a narrative short film with a group of their young people. The film had its world premiere at The Junior Fleadh, as part of the Oscar accredited 32nd Galway Film Fleadh. You can now watch the film on Attitude Live, or on their YouTube channel. The script has been used in Show Me Shorts pilot filmmaking classes to show children what a successful short film can look like from script to screen.


  • 1 narrative short film (7 mins running time)
  • 3 poster images
  • 15 still images


“Such a fantastic company to work with. They work diligently to produce high quality material and are extremely people focused. An absolute joy to collaborate with and I highly recommend them.” – Diane Eaglesome, Touch Compass


As filmmakers, the most influence we have is in the stories we can give a platform to. From the beginning, we wanted to support voices who traditionally may not have had this opportunity, and continue to seek out new talent and makers to help share these unheard stories. 

This story was inspired by the incredible young people we worked with. James, our lead actor, said to us “I wish people knew what it was like to be born different.” This became the heart of the film, which stars a group of children with mixed abilities. Some have autism, dyspraxia, Down Syndrome, dyslexia, to name a few. But that doesn’t mean they can’t give beautiful, dramatic performances and tell stories that matter. In the media, there is so much focus on disability and how it dis-ables people. We wanted to show what these young people can do. This is a film for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.