Come play with us, Mia

Documentary Paris, France
€1,560 raised on €1,500
104 %
39 backers
Campagne bouclée
le August 11, 2016
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The pitch

Autism is a socially excluding condition. In almost all modern societies, people affected with autistic disorder are left out from schools as well as from the professional word. Through Mia, this 10 years old girl living in Kiev, you will discover an other face of autism.

The project creator

Jeremy Paris, France view my profil

Presentation of the project

The goal of the film "Viens jouer avec nous, Mia" ("Come play with us, Mia") is to promote the integration of people affected with autism spectrum disorder in the society. From educating children to integrating adults professionally, everything has yet to be done.
Usually, the story of children affected with autism is, above all, the story of a family who has to overcome dreadful challenges. Tensions appear within these families although it should be one of the most beautiful moment of their lives, which become one of the most terrifying. These mixed feelings and their intensity are what we wish to show in the picture through interviews with the different members of the family.

“Mia is a singular and colourful figure. Through her eyes and her cheerfulness, it’s a positive, attractive and unusual image of autism that is offered to the viewer. Her family, who is a driving force and excited by the project, will welcome our small team for a few weeks."

Jeremy Jochimek & Kateryna Babkina, co-authors & co-directors of the film


It's dawn; Mia wakes up her little brother, who is still sleepy. Morning ritual. Mia lives in Kiev. She's a 10 years old little girl. She's joyful, smiling and walks her blooming face around the parks of the Ukrainian capital. A piece of fabric from an old dress firmly attached to a colourful shoulder bag, and figurines of little pigs always housed in her left hand, Mia is fascinating as much as moving.

“Mia also shows a relentless curiosity. She likes to discover and to comprehend all things, with the bravery and fearlessness that are hers, even though sometimes it’s messy.”

At first sight, Mia almost looks like any other little girl. Yet, she is affected with autism spectrum disorder. Regarded as deeply autistic, her communication capacities seem to be nearly non-existent. However, she knows how to make herself understood. Not thanks to her words, but thanks to the melodies of her voice and her drawings. Mia is lucky to have a mum and a dad who love her very much and are there for her. Her little brother too likes to spend time with his older sister, this extra-terrestrial who is so familiar to him and who he knows how to take care of. He’s a big brother in the body of a toddler. Mia likes to learn from him. It’s him who taught her to draw. It’s probably no accident if the best friend of her little brother is affected with autistic disorder too. It’s as if Mia was delivering a curious ability: to be able to interact with other children who, like her, are different. Mia also shows a relentless curiosity. She likes to discover and to comprehend all things, with the bravery and fearlessness that are hers, even though sometimes it’s messy.

“An autistic child brings their particular qualities as much as their particularities so heavy to bear for a family who has to face a society in which nothing is adapted to their needs.”

Mia doesn’t have the same life as all the little girls her age. She participates in extracurricular activities, but she doesn’t go to school. And even though she succeeds in making friends, she doesn’t have as many as other kids her age. Incidentally, if some children can be afraid of Mia’s difference, she doesn’t fear theirs. This world who doesn’t welcome her, she grasps it in a light-hearted way and joy. A doll-like face that almost makes you forget present and future issues that are ahead of her. Even though this is a really bright child, her entering the world was not without any consequences. An autistic child brings their particular qualities as much as their particularities so heavy to bear for a family who has to face a society in which nothing is adapted to their needs.

“For lack of regular integration among other kids, her chances of independence are nearly non-existent.”

At the heart of the Ukrainian society, nothing is really done to allow those beings, sometimes so different, to one day have a chance to take part in the society of “normal people”. There are solutions, marginal measures that are proof that integration of autistic people within the school and professional environment is possible and good for everyone. But for lack of political will and of social culture, those children are left to their distraught families, with little hope to one day become independent. Today Mia is loved and surrounded by her close family, but her future remains highly uncertain. For lack of regular integration among other kids, her chances of independence are nearly non-existent. But she doesn’t seem to ask herself these questions. She takes more interest in travelling, scuba diving, and it seems that nothing can come in the way of the little girl’s thirst for learning. When she wears her diving mask and her snorkel, her eyes turned towards the unknown, she inspires curiosity, or maybe is it unconsciousness? Any which way, her enthusiasm for the unknown is contagious and her world endlessly imaginative. Through her, beyond tolerance, what matters is the will to make this world a little more welcoming for Mia.


Kateryna Babkina (Катерина Бабкіна) is a young and established Ukrainian writer and screenwriter. She’s the author of three poetry collections, one novel and two collections of short stories. She has also written two books for kids, which are very popular in Ukraine. The last one, « The Cappy and the whale », dedicated to kids with cancer became a big charity project in Ukraine and by-products like toys, candies, posters, t-shirts and sweaters collection and even tattoos had a huge success.
Her stories, essays and lyrics have been translated in a dozen languages and published in Esquire Ukraine, Le Monde, Harper’s Bazaar, The Kenyon Review (USA), and German-Polish magazine Radar.
A few short movies were based on her stories, and screened in film festivals in Ukraine, Serbia and NYC, and in France in the Cannes Film Festival, where the movie was featured in the young director’s selection.
She has initiated several charity projects, which is how she met Mia and her family.

Jeremy Jochimek is a young entrepreneur who created his production company and event agency in 2014. Curious by nature, he studied filmmaking at French school ESRA Paris, and public affairs at Sciences Po Paris. He shows a great interest for anthropology and psychology which he both studied at Paris 10 University. He is also passionate about music, which is why he plays and writes his own music. He decided to start his company, CoDesign Experience, right after his studies and started by directing music videos for young artists. Quickly noticed by important international companies, he started to manage complex event productions, mixing filmmaking on an international scale and scenography (click here to watch the film).

It is during one of their meetings that Kateryna raised her desire to direct a documentary about an incredible little girl, called Mia. Being immediately seduced by the idea, Jeremy offered his collaboration on this project and proposed to provide the material means of his company. To better describe Mia’s life and autistic children’s life in Ukraine, it seemed natural for them to use a method inspired by anthropology. But it is also through this experience that we will learn more about ourselves, our vision of autism and question our policies of integration regarding the people who are affected with autism.

Meeting is set for late August with Mia and her family for a two weeks shooting that already promises to be exceptional!

Presentation by Jeremy Jochimek and Kateryna Babkina

Project team

the team

  • Jeremy Jochimek Producer, co-author, co-director Web site Kateryna Babkina Co-author, co-director

What will the money be used for?

For €1,500 or more

Thank you for your trust! The shooting in Kiev can now begin. Thanks to this first level, we are able to fund transportation and accommodation for the team during the two weeks of shooting in Ukraine. But once there, everything has yet to be done, we still need your help!

For €2,500 or more

With this budget, a sound engineer can join our team. His presence is absolutely necessary to ensure the quality of sound: you’ll hear Mia sing as if you were on the shooting with us.

For €3,500 or more

With this amount, a second camera operator will embark in our adventure! Mia’s spontaneity and joy can now be filmed from all angles. It also implies being able to shoot touching conversation scenes between the members of the family. Moreover, this sum will be used to rent more light equipment. An unavoidable expense to give this documentary images halfway between realism and poetry, and to allow the public to be immersed in this family’s everyday life.

For €5,000 or more

Almost there! We need your help to do the post production in the best possible conditions. With this amount, we can rely on a sound engineer and afford to do the mixing in studio, which would guarantee the best possible result for the film’s soundtrack.

For €7,000 or more

Reaching this level allows us to carry on the post production by doing the standardisation in studio. The poetry of this child must be translated by an elaborate colour scheme. It’s the only conditions in which we will be able to achieve a professional result that match our commitment and our mission to show how Mia truly is: intensely colourful.

For €9,000 or more

We have reached the Kiev objective, our dream becomes true! This amount means that we can:
- Add clips shot in Super 8mm in the documentary. The unique finish of this format makes it possible to take Mia out of the « normal » life » and to immerse the audience in her poetic universe.
- Regarding the making of a photo book on Mia, we’ll be fortunate enough to entrust a photographer who has an approach that is humanist by nature and whose critical eye is drawn to the unusual of our world.


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