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When viewed side by side, stories of our differences become proof of our sameness. Here is a beautiful collection of stories about the various ways in which we can all relate to each other’s experiences of feeling ‘different’.

Freebird is the coming-of-age story of Jon, a boy with Down Syndrome who learns to navigate the world with a loving mother, an absent father, a classroom bully, and a life-long crush. In just five minutes, we watch 45 years of his life flash by.

About the Directors:

Michael Joseph McDonald is a poet and filmmaker. His work explores the intersection of fragility and resilience. He's a writer, director, and producer, known for 6,000 Waiting and As I Am. He’s a big fan of triptychs, overlapping story structures, and Sri Lankan buffalo curd.

Joe Bluhm is an Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning artist and storyteller who works in all animation techniques from 2D to CG. He's best known for his work on The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Scarecrow, and Pinocchio: A Modern Retelling.

Nick Herd is a Canadian actor, author, and LGBTQ activist who was born with Down syndrome. He has worked on stage, and in film and television for 20 years. Most recently, Nick hosted Battle of the Fans, the first international lip sync competition hosted by persons with intellectual disabilities. He also hosts his own online talk show on the Disability Channel, Keeping it Real with Nick, and starred in a recent episode of Employable Me.

  • Runtime
    5 minutes
  • Language
    No dialogue
  • Country
  • Premiere
    Northwest Premiere (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana)
  • Director
    Michael Joseph McDonald, Joe Bluhm, Nicholas Herd