Hurricane Sandy Empowers a Film It Almost Destroyed
On October 28 of last year, Sam Fleischner was riding the A train out to Rockaway. With him were an autistic child actor, a lighting guy, sound guy — an entire film crew in fact, all under his direction. To hear the name of the film, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, is to understand that the location was an appropriate one; it’s the story of a 13-year-old autistic boy played by Jesus Sanchez who gets lost on the subway for 10 days. When it’s not taking place on the A train, Stand Clear unfolds in the Rockaways, where the boy’s mother is on a frantic mission to find him. The real-life story on which the movie is based (documented in a New York Times article in 2009) takes place in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. But Fleischner saw parallels between the subway and the ocean, and he wanted the family in his film to live nearby. It was four days before Fleischner’s film was scheduled to wrap, and he needed all the time in the subway he could get. But Hurricane Sandy had other plans.
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