Sometimes life and love can bring individuals on a path they never expected. Dina Buno’s, who is on the autism spectrum, path is a unique one that sparked the interest of documentary film makers, Dan Sickels and Antonia Santini.
The documentary labeled a “real-life romantic comedy” on dina.film was directed and produced by Dan Sickles and Antonia Santini. Life has been difficult for Buno. She has struggled with relationships in the past, and was married once but her husband unfortunately passed, as well as having an ex-boyfriend that stabbed her multiple times. Despite the setbacks and obstacles she has faced, Buno found herself falling in love once again with Dan Sickels. Sickels proposed to Buno at a Red Robin restaurant with a Winnie the Pooh cake reading, “Will you marry me?”.
In the trailer for the documentary, Buno shared, “I didn’t plan this. I didn’t plan me getting married again. Accept it and embrace single life.” Levin, who lives with Asperger’s Syndrome, is a Walmart door greeter. He did not have the same relationship experience prior to meeting his now wife. In the documentary, he admits that he had not lived independently until moving in with Buno. However, the couple also shares that they experience difficulties just like any other couple.
Buno, a part time public speaker and writer working on a book also shared with Elizabeth Cassidy at the Mighty.com, “It takes a lot of work — a lot of communication,” she said, “Then we have our fun times and our happy times, and we have to put both of them together. It’s a team effort.”
Levin shares during the film that he admires Buno’s courage, “You’ve been through more heartbreak than I could ever handle in my lifetime. And you’re still here. There’s something to be said for that, Dina.”
The couple ultimately wants to bring awareness to underrepresented adults on the autism spectrum. Dina “is about the real-life experience of two individuals on the spectrum. Their story doesn’t represent the spectrum in its entirety, but it does show a side of autism rarely seen on screens — that of an older autistic woman”.