Students from Los Angeles-based Exceptional Minds school have helped dubbed the Israeli comedy series “On the Spectrum.” The series, released to coincide with Autism Awareness Day, is now available to stream on HBO Max with the remaining five episodes available beginning April 9.
The series follows three roommates who are all in their mid-20 and on the autism spectrum. Niv Majar, Naomi Levov and Ben Yosipovic all star in the 10-part show, which was inspired by creator Dana Idisis’ brother, Guy, a young adult on the spectrum.
Idisis says, “I wrote the series from a very personal place, my younger brother is on the autism spectrum. I wanted to write a story in which he was the hero, where he deals with society and not where society needs to deal with him. It was important for me to meet with as many people on the spectrum as possible — as every person has their own story — and I was grateful to meet so many that opened up their hearts and confided in me — sharing their dreams, their hardships, their big and small moments. It is with their help that I wrote this series, with the hope that it will reach people’s hearts. I am extremely excited that HBO Max is providing this platform — allowing our series to be seen by such a large audience.”
Levov won the Israeli Academy Award for her role on the series as well as best actress at the Monte Carlo TV festival together with Majar, who won for best actor.
HBO Max turned to Exceptional Minds to assist with keeping the story true to experience. The digital arts studio is a vocational academy that trains up-and-coming artists with autism in the technical and work readiness skills required for careers in animation and digital arts.
Three graduates and one current student of Exceptional Minds provided the dubbing voices for the English version of the series — including the three leads — truly delivering on the message of the series by providing professional work for actors on the autism spectrum.
Exceptional Minds Executive Director David Siegel added: “By casting artists with autism as voice actors for “On the Spectrum,” the inclusive mission of the series has come full circle. Exceptional Minds provides education and on-the-job training for new and unique creative talents with autism who represent the world we live in. And the four Exceptional Minds artists that were cast shine a bright light on the many gifts of those with autism. ‘On the Spectrum’ captures the spirit of what it’s like to be an adult with autism today while putting that spirit into practice.”