promotional poster for Down Syndrome Film Festival, featuring movie posters for 3 films: Lay Down Your Heart, Raising Ava Rose, Minding My Own Business

Down Syndrome Film Festival

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day

Lead Sponsor:

LiUNA logo

Sponsored in part by:

logo: BC Maritime Employers Association

Join us as we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day with the Burnaby premiere of the new NFB feature documentary Lay Down Your Heart, preceded by the short films Raising Ava Rose and Minding Your Own Business: Entrepreneurs with Down Syndrome. Plus: An audience Q&A with the stars and creators, and an exclusive sneak peek at the new short film, Chicken!

LAY DOWN YOUR HEART – directed by Marie Clements, written by Niall McNeil and Marie Clements.

A National Film Board of Canada production. 2022, 70 minutes.

An accomplished artist, a lifelong performer and a person with Down syndrome, Niall McNeil has built a unique family tree of blood and chosen relations made up of his closest friends and collaborators. In Lay Down Your Heart, Niall introduces his “family members,” his multiple “children” (some twice his age!), his renowned “ex-wife” and director of the film Marie Clements, and more. Bonded together by shared creative passion and their relationships with Niall, his family includes some of Canada’s most outstanding theatrical and artistic talent. By exploring his unconventional family histories—sometimes factual, sometimes infused with fantasy, but always deeply felt—Niall’s limitless imagination drives him toward the heart of human connection.

**Winner, Audience Award, 2022 Vancouver International Film Festival**

RAISING AVA ROSE – directed by Jordan Macken.

2021, 24 minutes.

Raising a child with Down syndrome presents unique uncertainty for the Plourde family, but with Ava’s endearing spirit and increasing independence, they look hopefully toward the future.

MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS: ENTREPRENEURS WITH DOWN SYNDROME – produced by Glen Hoos directed by Matthew Hoos, featuring Zamaan Jivraj (The Granola Kid), Anu Sarma (Lovebirds by Anu), and Andrew Bingham (Through Andrew’s Eyes).

2022, 14 minutes.

Increasing numbers of people with Down syndrome are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on their own businesses. DSRF is proud to support entrepreneurs with Down syndrome. And now, our short film Minding My Own Business: Entrepreneurs with Down Syndrome takes viewers inside three small businesses owned and operated by entrepreneurs with Down syndrome.