'Bumblebees' film stars Atlanta teen with autism

'Bumblebees,' a short romantic comedy, was written and directed by the star's older sister.

UPDATE -- Since this story aired in July, the film won an international film contest that took Jenna and the producer on a two week trip to Sydney, Australia to attend the awards ceremony. Jenna has since acted in a few movies and has written two short films. Vance is doing wonderfully in school and has two jobs outside of school.

ATLANTA -- "People say that the bumblebee should not be able to fly."

And with those words begins a film, a three and a half minute film called Bumblebees, written and directed by Vance Kanell's sister, Jenna.

"I am his older sister by four years, four months, four days and five minutes," Jenna says.

The two entered a national competition called The Disability Film Challenge, where competitors have just 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a film.

"We were given romantic comedy, which stressed me out," Jenna says.

What Jenna created for her 19-year-old brother, who has autism, is a story about him doing something he has never done.

"I've never been on a date. But I haven't seen her since. What do I do?" Vance says in the movie.

The story follows Vance as he prepares for his date, with his real life cat Goldie playing the role of date adviser.

"He was just memorizing lines and took direction really well, went with adjustments really well," Jenna says.

In the movie, Vance meets his date.

In real life, Vance and Jenna submitted their movie.

"It won. It won best film of the contest," Jenna says.

As for the title Bumblebees, the big bodied, tiny winged creatures that fly, against all odds?

"That came from my parents actually because they use to call him a bumblebee. He wasn't supposed to be able to walk or read or speak or write," Jenna says.

Or star in movies written by his sister.

Vance the teenager and Vance the film star have much to teach us.

"You don't need to find somebody perfect or be somebody perfect, you just have to find another bumblebee to fly with," Vance says.

Watch Bumblebees in its entirety here!


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