Monday, December 15, 2008

"Harry Potter" director returns to filmmaking after year off to spend time with son with autism

From the Latin American Herald Tribune:

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron (pictured) said he plans to return to the director's chair after taking a year off to attend to the needs of his autistic son, who has shown signs of improvement.

"A lot of people have asked me why I haven't filmed anything; well, I haven't filmed because I put everything on hold to devote myself to my son. I was preparing a film and I left everything aside to dedicate myself to this matter," Cuaron said.

"I was very fortunate because I had access ... to experts and I had the economic means to go forward," Cuaron said Friday at the launch of a special DVD edition of one of his first films, "Solo con tu pareja" (Love in the Time of Hysteria), released in 1992.

The director of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Children of Men" said that, unlike many other people, he had the financial means to take a year off from work to care for his son.

"I had the luxury of leaving work for a year to dedicate myself a thousand percent to my son, who is getting over his condition and I'm now returning to work," said Cuaron, who declined to comment on his next project.

Cuaron noted that the debut work of his brother Carlos Cuaron, "Rudo y cursi" was screened Thursday night for the benefit of a foundation that helps children with autism.

"I support a foundation ... which I think is the only organization that seriously treats the problem of autism globally, because it's a worldwide epidemic. The levels are really worrying," he said.

"Now my son is already going to school and he's four years old, but we detected (the autism) just after the age of two and a half, when the doctors were telling me not to worry if he wasn't talking," Cuaron said.