Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mom's short film, "Deedah," focuses on sibling relationship between girl, her brother with Down syndrome

From Carriage Trade PR:

SAVANNAH, Ga. – “Deedah” is an honest, touching and often humorous account of a seven-year old girl’s relationship with her six-year old brother, who has Down syndrome – or as he calls it - “Up!” syndrome. The film’s title comes from the nickname the boy gave his sister at a very early age. The girl believes it was her brother’s first attempt at saying “sister.”

“Deedah” will be shown at the National Down Syndrome Congress Convention this July 17-18 in Orlando, Fla. The annual convention is the largest gathering of adults and teens with Down syndrome in the United States. It is also a clearinghouse of the latest information on all facets of Down syndrome.

The critically acclaimed 26-minute film, shot in documentary news style, follows the siblings through their daily lives – at home, in school and in the community at large. Deedah tells us what it was like when her friends first met her brother. She says they were initially somewhat put off and concerned about his well-being. But now, she says, the children have embraced her brother as part of their circle of friends.

However, stereotypes abound. The girl bitterly describes her brother’s experiences with bullying and says people often make inaccurate assumptions about him because of the way he looks and sounds. She says she hopes this film will open many people’s eyes to the unique talents and abilities of not only her brother, but to all people with Down (Up!) syndrome.

Deedah describes her brother as smart, brave and funny, with a very bright future ahead of him. The film is a good introduction to Down syndrome, as well as a reminder that sometimes our perceptions of people are far from the actual reality.

“Deedah” was produced, directed, shot and written by Brooke May, a former television news anchor and reporter, who is now Vice President of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and a stay-at-home mom to Deedah and her brother, Jonathan, in Savannah was co-produced and edited by Joshua Jasso of Savannah.

“Deedah” has been shown at film festivals in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Miami, Macon, Georgia and Amelia Island, Florida. It was also recently given an Award of Excellence by the Indie Fest, which recognizes outstanding achievement in independent filmmaking.