The only distributor of films exclusively featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Boy Inside

Directed by Marianne Kaplan



In this multi award-winning documentary, filmmaker Marianne Kaplan turns the camera on her own family, with a candid and personal story about her 12 year-old son, Adam, and a turbulent year in the life of a family.

Adam has Aspergers Syndrome (AS), a form of high-functioning autism characterized by socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and an inability to interact successfully with others.

“The Boy Inside” follows Adam from the first to last day of Grade 7, his final year of elementary school. Adolescence brings tough new challenges for Adam, as he struggles to navigate the complex youth culture of his schoolmates. School is a nightmare. Adam often says the wrong thing, or ends up in tears, or in fights with other boys. As a result, he usually finds himself isolated, bullied, and excluded because of the way he is. He left his last school after another boy put a knife to his neck.

Marianne and her husband, Peter, try to coach Adam on dealing with the bullying kids at school, and his teachers do their best to help him fit in. In an attempt to learn more about Aspergers, Marianne and Adam attend an Aspergers Syndrome conference in Chicago, where they share experiences with other AS kids and their parents. Marianne meets renowned animal scientist and author Dr. Temple Grandin, herself autistic.

But on their return, the conflicts at school continue unabated. These, and the all-consuming stress of Adam’s acting out at home, cause friction not only between Adam and his parents and sister, but also between the family members themselves. At a loss for what to do next, his parents make the agonizing decision to send Adam away into foster care for a few days.

As high school looms for Adam, his anxious parents are worried about the future. Will Adam be better at learning how to make, and keep, friends so he doesn’t feel so utterly isolated and alone? How will he handle issues like dating, drugs and peer pressure? Will he be able to survive as an independent adult when, in a very few years, he leaves the family nest? And will the family survive the grueling challenges of coping with a special needs child.

“The Boy Inside” is a rare, first-hand portrait of living with Aspergers Syndrome, and an intimate peek behind the curtain into a troubled year of a family in crisis.


Additional Awards & Honors

1. NHK Japan Prize 2007, Youth Education Division
2. Audience Choice Award, NHK Japan Prize 2007
3. Freddie Award, International Health & Medical Media Awards, 2008
4. CINE Golden Eagle Award, USA 2007
5. Selected by the U.S. Museum of Broadcast Communication for their archives collection.
6. Selected by Video Librarian magazine as one of 25 films for their “2007 Best Documentaries” list.


Film Festival Screenings

1. Vancouver International Film Festival 2006 (World Premiere)
2. Yorkton Film and Video Festival, Canada 2006
3. One World Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, 2007
4. Sprout Film Festival, New York City, 2007
5. Reel 2 Real International Youth Film Festival, Vancouver, 2007
6. 9th Seoul International Youth Film Festival, Korea, 2007
7. The 28th Durban International Film Festival, South Africa, 2007
8. DocsDF 2007, International Documentary Film Festival, Mexico City
9. Detroit Docs International Film Festival, Detroit, USA 2007
9. Document 5- International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland, 2007
10. Jogjakarta Documentary Film Festival, Indonesia, 2007
11. Basel-Karslruhe Forum, Karslruhe, Germany, 2008
12. Picture This…. Disability Film Festival, Calgary, Canada 2008
13. Moscow Disability Film Festival, Russia, November, 2008
14. Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival, Greece, 2011

Video Purchase Options

Sproutflix offers two-tiered pricing to suite your institutional and educational needs.

  • Level 1 use: Geared toward K-12 schools, small parent/family support groups and events with 25 people or less.
  • Level 2 use: Geared toward universities, libraries, film screenings and special events.

If you are interested in instructional/training use for more than 100 people, please contact our office with your details to receive information and pricing.

*All DVD sales of this film also include free information and study guide 

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