Hyper vigilant parents MARIA and JOE go into a state of blind panic where their neuro-diverse, teenage son MARCUS is invited to a party. Marcus is on the Autism Spectrum and has been bullied throughout secondary school. He doesn’t have any friends. For reasons they cannot fathom, he wants to go to the party. Maria and Joe fear ‘Vicky’ — who texted the invite — must have an ulterior motive. Perhaps, she wants to send Marcus for alcohol. Maybe she is going to film their son doing something humiliating so she can upload it for more followers. Maybe she\'s not even a she. What if Marcus is being cat-fished? Marcus resorts to an old, childhood set of emotion cards to explain why he wants to go. He chooses the smiley face — it would make him happy. Maria goes to Marcus’ school to try and identify Vicky. Joe gives Marcus the sex and drugs talk, again. They have him try alcohol and cigarettes so he will not vomit in front of his peers.On the night of the party, they hide close by, in case… When they pick Marcus up, it’s to the sight of him jumping on a bouncy castle with other teens.
The biblical source being adapted is Colossians 3:21: “Fathers, do not embitter your children, lest they become discouraged.” In this verse of the New Testament, the apostle Paul encourages parents not to exasperate or provoke their children in case they become embittered. It emphasises the need to nurture children’s emotional well being and cautions against behaviours that discourage them. The short, The Party, tries to relate how the parents\' fear, anxiety and previous experiences could hamper the nourishment the child, Marcus, needs. The parents\' actions come close to contributing to his feelings of low self esteem or resentment; they tread a very fine line. The short, like the verse, suggests the parents need to be patient, to put aside their fears and over protective treatment of their son so that they and he are open to other possibilities -- joy, fun and wonder. The main message and intention is that children need a supportive and encouraging environment in order to grow emotionally, spiritually and mentally, as I believe making the short could show. The serious nature of the material concerning mental health is dealt with in a gentle, comedic fashion to avoid a heavy handed approach.