John Asher is a Director and filmmaker who is also the father to an autistic son. John's most recent film, Po --which is part of the Golden Door Film Festival--tells the story of such a parent-child relationship in a way that has been resonating well with audiences. John is best known for playing the role of Gary in the TV series Weird Science and then branched out into filmmaking having spent his entire life in show business.

In fact, his father was William Asher who was the original director of I Love Lucy in 1951 and Bewitched in 1964. John directed his first film--Kounterfeit starring Hilary Swank--when he was only 21 years old. He went on to direct movies and shows including Diamonds for Miramax, Dirty Love, One Tree Hill and Going to California and worked alongside A-list celebrities such as Kirk Douglas, Dan Aykroyd, and Lauren Bacall.

In 2013, he directed Somebody Marry Me which holds the distinction of being the first romantic comedy shot in one continuous 98-minute take with no cuts. Yet John’s most recent film--Po--is his most important work to date since it chronicles a family’s journey with autism, a subject that is clearly close to John’s heart. The Movie has won “Best Film” at festivals and was recently accepted to be showcased at New Jersey’s Golden Door Film Festival on September 24, 2016.

History

Po stars Christopher Gorham and Julian Feder and it tells the story of a recently widowed man who learns to cope with becoming a single parent to a ten-year-old autistic boy. John Asher is hopeful that the movie will lead to a better understanding of autism to the wider world. “Every piece of dialogue that Po had and every movement that he did was thought out and deliberated on,” John Asher stated in a recent interview.

“We really didn’t want it to feel forced, and we didn’t want to do things we’ve never seen an autistic child do before. We wanted to stay true so people who are not affected by autism can learn something from watching this film. The movie is educational as well as entertaining. For me, it’s about teaching acceptance and about love — that love supersedes everything but it’s also meant to educate people who aren’t aware of what parents and children of autism go through on a daily basis.”

John credits his son, Evan, as being his total inspiration for writing the film and creating the character called Po. “I had seen other films that were focused on autism but something did not feel authentic,” John explained.

“I really wanted Po to give audience members a real experience.”

Future

John decided to submit the film to the Golden Door Film Festival--which was started by actor Bill Sorvino--through the Film Freeway Website. Upon its acceptance, he and his team were very pleased and are anticipating the September 24 viewing. Yet John is always looking ahead. “I'm constantly setting new goals for myself and when I meet them there's a brand-new one in sight,” he said.

“Being able to take my film to a bunch of film festivals and win awards was always at the top of my list and now that it's happening I can see a new goal in sight. I never want to stop learning I want to keep growing as a filmmaker no matter how old I am. In ten years maybe people will be learning from me. Currently, I'm in development on a few projects. It's always good to have a lot of irons in the oven. I'm currently writing a big action film with my writing partner Jon land, at the same time I'm writing an alien home invasion project and currently packaging a thriller while simultaneously getting ready to cast a comedy that shoots in November.”

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