MANIFF Selection: Press Release

Art learns from life in LANGUAGE ARTS, a new film by Kairos Productions based on Stephanie Kallos’s novel

Seattle, WA, February 14, 2020

Kairos productions announced today that Language Arts, their fifth feature film, will premiere at Manchester International Film Festival. Adapted and directed by award-winning filmmaker, Cornelia Duryée, and based on the novel by Stephanie Kallos, Language Arts tracks the effects of autism on a Seattle family. The film stars Ashley Zukerman and Sarah Shahi.

“As a parent of an autistic child, I connected to this novel in a primal way. It was as if the novel had listened in on my actual life and experience. But much of the film has less to do with my own story than with the universal struggle of raising children, trying to keep a family together under trying circumstances, and the way that love connects and saves us,” says filmmaker Cornelia Duryée.

This is Ms. Duryée’s third time adapting a book for the screen. “Adaptation is about finding the truth that the screenplay needs so that it can breath its own breath, while simultaneously being utterly true to the essence of the novel.” Language Arts was filmed entirely in Seattle, with a cast and crew of primarily Seattle talent, including neuro-diverse actors and crew members, and it was funded in part by Washington State, through Washington Filmworks.

Language Arts will screen Friday the 13th of March at 8:15PM - Odeon, Great Northern, Manchester, United Kingdom.

High-school English teacher Charles Marlow’s skill with words is no help in connecting with his autistic son, or the love of his life. When an ambitious student enlists Charles’ help, he’s forced to confront the actions and inactions that have shaped his own life. Spanning Charles’ lifetime, from a 1960’s classroom to a 1990’s group home for his nearly-grown son, Language Arts examines how we construct the story of our lives, and how we set about revising it.

For more information and tickets to the world premiere of Language Arts visit the Manchester International Film Festival website at:

Media Contact: Carol Roscoe,, (206) 769-6148

Company: Kairos Productions,