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Staff Access

Niall’s Film – Lay Down Your Heart – March 18, 2023

Down Syndrome Film Festival

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day

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**