Film inspired by Asperger teen from York is previewed in home city before UK release

A MOVIE inspired by the story of a gifted mathematician from York who overcame the challenges of having Asperger Syndrome was today screened in the city ahead of its nationwide release this week.


X+Y, starring Hollywood actors Asa Butterfield, Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall, is based in part on the life of Daniel Lightwing, who himself suffers from the condition on the autism spectrum.

Asa Butterfield, best known for his starring roles in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Hugo, plays the lead character and spent the day with Daniel before filming to help his portrayal of lead character Nathan. The fictional story shows Nathan struggling to connect with other people but finding comfort in numbers and mathematics.

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After his gifts are nurtured he successfully applies to become one of the chosen six selected to represent the UK in the International Maths Olympiad (IMO), in the process meeting and falling in love with a Chinese girl who is also entering the contest.

The film is inspired by a documentary shown on BBC2 in 2007 telling the story of Daniel, originally from Warthill, near York, and other brilliant teenagers battling it out for a place on the IMO team.

X+Y had its European premiere in London’s Leicester Square last year and today was shown at the City Screen Picturehouse in York. It goes on nationwide release on Friday and will be shown at City Screen from March 20.

Daniel, who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and director Morgan Matthews answered questions from the audience after the screening.