When Tristan Wainwright was just four years old he stopped speaking. His parents learned this was a result of Tristan being autistic.
As the years went by Tristan began to speak again, but through a very unique method: Repeating movie dialogue.
He began by just repeating certain phrases he picked from different films. Eventually, he could piece together everything he wanted to say by using just lines from films.
The movie E.T. The Extraterrestrial was Tristan’s go to and the one he quoted most often.
Now, Tristan can speak on his own, without the help of movie quotes, but something magical was born from the way he compensated to speak at the beginning of his life.
Tristan has become a celebrated actor, director and writer and he is being offered the opportunity of a lifetime.
Next Fall Tristan will travel to Italy to be the guest ribbon cutter at the opening of a very special museum.
Daniela Rambaldi is opening a museum dedicated to her father Carlo Rambaldi. Carlo was an Italian special effects artist.
He won three Oscars: one Special Achievement Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1977 for the 1976 version of King Kong and two Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects in 1980 and 1983 for, respectively, Alien (1979) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
He is most famous for his work in those two last mentioned films, that is for the mechanical head-effects for the creature in Alien and the design of the title character of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Tristan will cut the ribbon at the opening of this museum.
Tristan won this honor after entering a photo competition hosted by Daniela Rambaldi.
He took E.T. themed pictures all around DeRidder and was chosen by Rambaldi as the “global winner”.
Tristan’s father Jeff shared how Tristan’s story hit close to Rambaldi’s heart.
Back in the 1980’s Rambaldi’s father told her story about a little girl who had autism and couldn’t speak until she watched E.T. Something about the film inspired her talk again.
Both of the Rambaldi’s were moved by the story of the little girl. So when Daniela heard Tristan’s story, she connected with him immediately.
Tristan has met most of the E.T. Cast and hopes to meet them all at the opening of the museum.
As Tristan has grown, he has only become more fascinated with film and cameras.
“He was always looking through a camera growing up,” Jeff said.
Nowadays, Tristan is making his own films, has his own IMDB page and is working on a movie set in DeRidder.
He is networking with filmmakers and producers out of Leesville and also participates in plays.
His dad said he got his start on the stage of the Impromptu Theatre and has only gotten better since.
Tristan and his family, including his mom Natasha, have dedicated their whole lives to Tristan’s success. He has attended film camp multiple times, so many time, in fact, his parents think he may have gained everything the camp has to offer.
To learn more about Tristan or to watch his films, follow him on Instagram @theawesomeautistic or join the facebook group named “Help send Tristan to film camp.” You can also find him on IMDB.com.
Jeff has become an advocate for autistic youth in the area and started a program called Empowering Autism. The group meets locally and is always looking for new members and volunteers. For more information email EmpoweringAutism@yahoo.com.