Michael Maes’ highly praised documentary Epiphany has been released on iTunes just in time for the holidays.
Epiphany follows the journey of renowned wildlife photographer Ellen Cuylaerts as she overcomes her fear of water and becomes a shark advocate, from the perspective of a wife and mother guiding her husband and two children, who have high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. The movie explores how Ellen discovers that people affected by autism show a likeness to animals in the wild, and how this revelation can help in her effort to challenge society to understand both the condition and the threats facing the marine environment.
Find out more about the documentary in the synopsis and movie trailer below as well as on the official website. The film is available on iTunes to rent at $0.99 or purchase for $11.99.
Epiphany: How to make an ordinary life an extraordinary experience
“Epiphany is personal, powerful and direct. This film shares a rare intimacy about realization and the reality of the sea as a thread of life and love within a family.”—David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes, Contributing Photographers, National Geographic
Epiphany is a true story about love, autism, nature, passion, fear, determination, perseverance and making daunting choices in life. Ellen Cuylaerts, mother and award winning internationally renowned wildlife photographer, is afraid of water but sets out to conquer that fear over and over again to help the environment.
Early in her marriage, Ellen—master in history and education, former Cisco engineer, and e-commerce founder—is trapped between the peculiar situation her children and husband are in and the mainstream expectations of social peers. Fighting an exhausting battle, mainly against ignorance and prejudice, she finds relief in a piece of paper: the diagnosis of autism in her husband and two children. Armed with evidence and facts, she can start educating her surroundings. Although making remarkable progress with her loved ones, she realizes along the way that the core issue would never disappear: society will not accept nor understand ‘being different’. Thus Ellen and her husband Michael decide to move away from their busy social life and settle down at the other end of the world, close to nature: Grand Cayman.
Living near the ocean, Ellen starts diving and pursues her old passion, photography, though this time underwater. Early on she understands the power of images and social media to bring environmental awareness to the public. As such emerges her mission to show the public the in-depth beauty of sharks and her battle to refute the allegation that sharks are a danger to humans.
In search for the “key” to communicate with people affected by autism, she discovers similarities with animals in the wild. Could that key help her to navigate her loved ones through society? Will it allow her to connect to those large predators she welcomes in front of her lens?
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