ASIA A refers to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA), who developed a system of tests used to define and describe the severity of a patient’s spinal cord injury to help determine future rehabilitation and recovery needs. The patient’s test grade is based on how much sensation he or she can feel at multiple points on the body, as well as tests of motor function.
ASIA Grade A - Complete lack of motor and sensory function below the level of injury
ASIA Grade B - Some sensation below the level of the injury
ASIA Grade C - Some muscle movement is spared below the level of injury, but 50 percent of the muscles below the level of injury cannot move against gravity.
ASIA Grade D - Most (more than 50 percent) of the muscles that are spared below the level of injury are strong enough to move against gravity.
ASIA Grade E - All neurologic function has returned.
The idea for this film spawned six years ago when director/writer - Andrew Reid, at the age of 21, became paralyzed from the chest down. A malformation of his blood vessels resulted in a rupture which compressed his spine while he was sleeping, leaving him completely paralyzed. Andrew was told by doctors he would never walk again but with dedication and perseverance he regained movement.
Today, Andrew walks again and continues to progress in strength and health. In 2018, he produced the short film version of ASIA A which won the Jury Award at the 2018 DGA Student Awards and was a Semi-Finalist for the 45th Student Academy Awards. It has screened at LA Shorts, HollyShorts, Martha’s Vineyard African American and over 25 other film festivals. Now, ASIA A is being developed into a feature with the support of 2019 Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Filmmaker Fund.