NEW JERSEY (CBS) – A New Jersey man with cerebral palsy broke barriers to not only graduate from Villanova University but also find work as a paid journalist. Now, 28-year-old Frankie Kineavy, Jr. wants to break into the film industry as a screenwriter and filmmaker.
“I can’t even tell you how proud I am,” said Frankie’s father, Frank Sr. “He inspires me every day.”
As Frankie’s father will tell you, his son has faced many challenges but lives his life without limitations.
“He’s a pretty incredible kid. He was born with cerebral palsy. Can’t walk, can’t talk, graduated from this beautiful school, Villanova,” Frank Sr. said.
It was ten years ago at Villanova where Frankie met Dr. Stephen McWilliams.
“Frankie brings out the best in everybody,” McWilliams said.
McWilliams would become Frankie’s disability adviser and close friend.
“He really changed my life and he changed me, even though I’m a disability adviser, I’m still skeptical sometimes,” he said. “It’s just a condition that they live with. There are dreams and there’s hopes and there’s talents that are undiscovered.”
Frankie has done a great job of achieving his goals thus far, but for his most recent accomplishment, he needed his friend’s help. McWilliams is also a film professor and producer with his own production company, TRUflic Media.
“He said, ‘Would you help me write a screenplay?’ And I said sure. So I gave him a prompt, an idea, ‘What it would be like to be you without any support system?'” McWilliams asked.
Frankie took that idea and ran with it. Using his specially designed keyboard, he painstakingly typed out his screenplay, “Way We Roll,” letter by letter.
With feedback from McWilliams, the writing process took about seven years.
“I say it’s a lot like ‘Of Mice and Men’ meets ‘Fargo,'” McWilliams said. “There’s a little criminal element in it. It’s a little ‘Thelma and Louise,’ if you think of any movie where the characters go on the road and discover themselves in the process, that’s what this film is.”
Using an electronic keyboard, Frankie told us in his own words what the film is about.
“Struggle that people with disabilities go through when trying to find themselves,” he wrote.
Though the premise sounds serious, Frankie made sure to include plenty of laughs, which got dad’s seal of approval.
“I think it’s a combination of being really funny and really serious, I think it’s a real great life story,” Frank Sr. said.
McWilliams is in the process of raising money to turn Frankie’s screenplay into a film.
“I always tell his dad, ‘That’s why I was put on Earth, to do this project and I’m going to try to get it done before I check out,'” he said.
Like other situations in Frankie’s life, he’s learned to adapt in order to succeed. When his electronic keyboard failed, he turned to an alphabet board and his dad to communicate that he’d like to be taken seriously as a filmmaker.
“He wants them to view his movie like they would any other movie and he wants them to realize that people with disabilities could contribute in any way in any business and can do it exactly what healthy, able-bodied people can do if they’re given the chance,” Frank Sr. said.
Frankie’s advice to anyone with a dream is simple.
“Go for it and surround yourself with people who believe in you,” he said.
McWilliams’ production company, TRUflic Media, is not only helping Frankie, but also has a greater mission of developing and investing in projects to provide opportunities to people with disabilities. To learn more, click here.
To learn more about Frankie’s Kickstarter campaign, click here.