In this short film, Toronto artist Petra Tolley, who has Down syndrome, performs a soliloquy that encapsulates her distinctive take on the social self. Drawing from her emotional experiences, she illustrates what it feels like to be “in the middle.” Employing rotoscopy, hand-drawn animation techniques and subtle stereoscopic 3D, the film captures Petra as she engages the camera with unflinching directness and dignity.
This 3D stereoscopic animation tells the story of Matthew, a boy who is never afraid of the dark. Since he's been in darkness all his life, Matthew has eyes where other people only have hands, feet or ears. This week is Matthew's birthday and he's very curious about the surprise his parents are preparing for him. Can he find it?
This animated short tells the story of Trudy, a little girl who is equal parts truthful and rude. A bright-minded and quick-witted child, Trudy has an unfiltered and deeply curious way of looking at the world. Here, events force her to question what it means to speak the truth, and comes to understand how our differences make us unique.
Flawed is nothing less than a beautiful gift from Andrea Dorfman's vivid imagination, a charming little film about very big ideas. Dorfman has the uncanny ability to transform the intensely personal into the wisely universal. She deftly traces her encounter with a potential romantic partner, questioning her attraction and the uneasy possibility of love. But, ultimately, Flawed is less about whether girl can get along with boy than whether girl can accept herself, imperfections and all.
This film is both an exquisite tribute to the art of animation and a loving homage to storyboarding, a time-honoured way of rendering scenes while pointing the way to the dramatic arc of the tale.
This short animated documentary offers an intimate glimpse into the exceptional mindsets and emotional lives of four adult artists with Down Syndrome. An artful, four-way essay about ability, film explores how it feels to be a little bit unusual.
In her follow-up to her award-winning film, John and Michael, filmmaker Shira Avni pursues a deeper understanding of esteem and disability by inviting Petra, Matthew, Daninah, and Katherine to consider their pasts, relationships and ambitions.
This Emmy-nominated feature film is an intimate and evocative journey into the hearts, minds and eyes of Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr and Frida Kahlo - 3 of the 20th century’s most remarkable artists. The film uses the women’s own words, taken from their letters and diaries, to reveal 3 individual creative processes in all their subtle and fascinating variety.
This feature documentary exposes the little-known tragedy of girl soldiers in Uganda. How can they learn to live normal lives again after being abducted and trained to become killing machines? Clinging to their dreams, Grace, Milly and Lucy are trying to restore meaning to their lives and break the silence surrounding the fate of a sacrificed generation.
Inspired by a real-life news item, this animated short paints a pulsating portrait of a mixed-use, working-class neighbourhood where young families cross paths with prostitutes, their interactions leaving unpredictable ripples in the motley fabric of urban life.
It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for artist Phil Richards, who’s been commissioned to create Canada’s official portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her Diamond Jubilee. Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Hubert Davis follows Richards over months of painstaking preparations, as he works to capture Her Majesty’s likeness and spirit on canvas.
While on an airplane, a traveller's spirit plunges into a dream world. Here, under the influence of the unknown, the logic of his desires prevails, and a romantic saga takes shape. This animated film by Georges Schwizgebel masterfully transports us into a swirling world. Set to the twists and turns of a Rachmaninoff scherzo, Romance exuberantly marries music and movement, erasing the boundary between dreams and reality.
This feature documentary offers a comparison of the care of two boys with Down syndrome. Danny lives at home with his brothers and sisters and attends a special neighborhood school for children with disabilities. Nicky lives in a large institution for persons with intellectual disabilities. This film clarifies common misconceptions about intellectual disabilities, and presents an intimate portrait of the families, staff, and communities that come together to assist Danny and Nicky in learning, playing, and living a fulfilling life.
Ages 10 to 14
Diversity - Diversity in Communities
English Language Arts - Poetry
Health/Personal Development - Bullying & Discrimination
Before the film, have students brainstorm or free write about experiences with individuals affected by mental disabilities. After the film, ask the class about the issues it addresses and feelings it expresses, and whether it influenced their views about their previous experiences. Engage students in activities to raise awareness of social challenges faced by disabled people. Identify words and phrases in the poem that crystallize the writer’s experience. Have students write about a painful or meaningful experience using similar techniques.