Meet Jordan Astles — high school student by day, stop-motion superhero creator by night

Being a student on the autism spectrum hasn't always been easy for Astles, but through his superhero Jornova, he's finding his own artistic superpowers.

Through his superhero Jornova, Astles is finding his own artistic superpowers

High school student and superhero creator Jordan Astles. (CBC Arts)

This spring, Jordan Astles will graduate from high school and will, as he puts it, be free.

Being a high school student on the autism spectrum hasn't always been easy for Astles, who notes that he needs his own quiet classroom, away from disruptive students. But when you ask him, he knows exactly what he wants to do next, and he responds with clarity and determination: "Make films."

Watch the video:

Artist Jordan Astles and his superhero Jornova

5 years ago
Duration 3:03
Artist Jordan Astles and his superhero creation, Jornova, are taking you into their animated world, with the help of Spectrum Productions.

Astles is already well on his way to his chosen career. He's created a stop-motion animation film series about his creation: robot superhero Jornova.

He made the series with the help of Spectrum Productions, a Montreal-based non-profit organization that, as founder Dan Ten Veen explains, "is about creating opportunities for autism in media production. For some, that means pursuing an arts career. For others, it means joining our production team."

The adventures of Jornova! (CBC Arts)

In this video, you get a glimpse into both the superhero's and the filmmaker's explorations of what they are and what they're capable of. Astles has quickly realized that he, too, has superpowers: "My power is to make movies, draw pictures and protect my family at all costs."

This video was a special collaboration with Spectrum Productions, with camera and sound recording by Spectrum participants and staff: Eric Bent, Philip Bignell Harris, Cameron Mitchell and Christopher Dymond.

Jordan Astles and some of his superhero creations. (CBC Arts)

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.


Ashley Duong is a Montreal-based filmmaker and multimedia storyteller. Her most recent projects include Land and Legends, an interactive journey into a legendary river valley in Borneo, and A Time To Swim, a feature documentary.