Amazon to film ‘On The Spectrum’ at Cinespace

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Naomi Levov, Niv Majar and Ben Yosipovich in the Israeli version of "On The Spectrum"

Naomi Levov, Niv Majar and Ben Yosipovich in the Israeli version of “On The Spectrum”

Coming-of-age
comedic drama
follows the lives
of three roommates
on the autism spectrum
who are “striving
for the same things
that we all desire”

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, one of the largest film studios in the country, based on the west side of Chicago announced a deal with Amazon Studios to begin filming the half-hour series, On the Spectrum.

Jason Katims, the creator of Parenthood, has based the project on the Israeli series developed by Dana Idisis and Yuval Shafferman.

Described as a coming-of-age comedic drama, the series focuses on three 20-something roommates on the autism spectrum, striving for the same things that we all desire: To get a job, keep a job, make friends, fall in love, and navigate a world that eludes them.

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Katims, whose son is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, will serve as writer and executive producer on the series. Jeni Mulein of Katims’ True Jack Productions will also executive produce along with yes Studio’s Danna Stern. Universal Television will produce in association with True Jack and yes Studios, which produced the original series.

“I’ve heard that Katims has called On the Spectrum his passion project and we are honored that he has chosen Cinespace Chicago to create it. This topic is personal to me too,” said Alex Pissios President and CEO of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

 
A Pissios family tradition
Pissios’s father, Spiros, dedicated his career to serving children and adolescents with disabilities and helping them navigate successfully in the community. Although long retired, Spiros continues to volunteer in the Chicago Public School System (CPS) in a work program for students with disabilities. Alex Pissios shares his father’s passion for serving people with disabilities.

Alex Pissios mentors a student in Chicago
Alex Pissios mentors a student in Chicago

While in college, Alex mentored a young man with autism and, like his father, trained to become a Special Ed teacher.

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“Providing support to the disabilities community is one of the core priorities of our family foundation, CineCares. ‘On the Spectrum’ is a groundbreaking pilot project that shows people with disabilities in everyday life ” Pissios added.

The Israeli series, “On the Spectrum” is critically acclaimed, earning nine Israeli TV Academy Awards this year. Executive producers of the original On the Spectrum series are yes Studios’ Danna Stern, co-creators Dana Idisis and Yuval Shafferman, Sumayoko’s Udi Segal and yesTV’s Dganit Atias Gigi and Koby Gal Raday.

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About Cinespace Chicago Film Studios
Cinespace Chicago Film Studios is a family-owned company specializing in the development, management, and operation of studio space and support facilities for the film, television, and digital media production industry. With 31 sound stages on its 1.45 million square foot main campus in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, and additional studios currently under construction at 31st and Kedzie, Cinespace is the largest film studio outside of California. Since opening in 2011, Cinespace has helped bring more than 16,000 new jobs to the area. As part of Cinespace’s commitment to the neighborhood, the family established CineCares Foundation to train and employ area residents through education and job training in TV & Film. The CineCare’s Foundation Mirkopoulos Internship Program partners with FOX, HBO, NBCUniversal, Wolf Films and Studio Mechanics Union Local 476. In addition to film production, the campus is home to Stage 18 Chicago, a 501(c) 3 organization and incubator established to retain and grow talent in Chicago. Key tenants at Cinespace include 312 Fast Draw, AbelCine, Cinelease, DePaul FilmSchool, Keslow Camera, Lagunitas and Periscope Post & Audio. For more information or to contract studio or business space at Cinespace, visit the website at ChicagoFilmStudios.com.

 
Send your production updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, dan@reelchicago.com.

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