When I began working at Cy-Ridge as a World History teacher, I was introduced to an amazing team filled with all sorts of wonderful people. One of those people has a daughter with intellectual disabilities. We have kept in touch over the years through both of us moving on to different phases of our life and I have very much appreciated her friendship, insight, and support.
This past year, her daughter was cast in a brilliant new film. Love Land tells the story of a group of people placed in a community home for people with special needs. I won't tell the whole story because I really want you to go here to check out the trailer yourself. If you watch the trailer, you will see that instead of telling the story with actors portraying people with special needs, the director and production team cast people with special needs acting. And we aren't talking about token one line speaking parts or background parts, the main cast all have special needs.
Right now, the film is in post production. They have started their KickStarter campaign to try and get the money to edit and re work the sound to make it the quality it needs to be to show on the big screen. It would be fantastic if this movie could be finished to this level and be given the opportunity to make it on the big screen.
I can't tell you how encouraging it is to see a film not shying away from the compelling stories and lives that all individuals have. I can't tell you how my heart ached and tears sprung to my eyes to see a boy, who like Johnny has Down syndrome, and pursues a loving relationship with a girl in the film. A boy who, from what I understand is just as charming and personable in real life and who makes girls giggle and smile when they say his name. I think, at the heart of this film, there is a very real message that can be taken away. And there is a strong desire to show the similarities and differences that this population of people have with the rest of the world. I am proud of my friend's involvement in such an amazing project and hope that more people get to see the amazing work that is being done.