KIDS FIRST! Film Festival/Hawaiʻi

YOU DO YOU NO MATTER WHO: PART 1 (9 films•Ages 8-18)

Expired February 22, 2022 9:45 AM
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8 films in package
(Ages 8-18) Benjamin Giroux, a 10-year-old autistic boy from New York, wrote a poem called "I Am Odd" for a school project. The poem went viral and inspired this song using Ben's lyrics. A talented young 2D animator, Rory Russell, was approached to tell Ben's story in a simple animated music video to help raise autism awareness.
(Ages 8-15) Because of his Asperger's, Charlie struggles with team sports, but has found he loves surfing and dancing. We follow Charlie through ups and downs at surf camp.
(Ages 8-18) This is a film about learning to have positive thoughts about ourselves and how self-perception is so important to our mental health.
(Ages 8-15) Ole's friend Benni has Down syndrome. But that never bothered Ole...until the big swimming leisure time is approaching and the other children in the club don't want Benni to come with them. Now Ole has to choose one side.
(Ages 5-18) The healing power of human-canine connection in combatting anxiety and isolation for people of all ages, through the lens of mounting mental health crisis in teens, overcoming learning disabilities. and isolation during covid.
(Ages 12-18) Rockland Relay follows Rachel, a young girl whose parents move her across the country just as she is about to start high school.
(Ages 10-18) This is a film about the diverse nature of beauty and learning to accept yourself.
(Ages 14-18) Damián suffers bullying from his classmates because of their suspicion about his sexual orientation.
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9 films • 1h33m • Ages 8-18

With artistry and humor, short films about building bridges and finding common ground across differences.

Ole's friend Benni has Down syndrome. But that never bothered Ole. Until the big swimming leisure time is approaching and the other children in the club don't want Benni to come with them. Because now Ole has to choose one side. The fact that Ole is in love for the first time doesn't make things any easier.

That his friend Benni has Down syndrome, Ole (11) has never disturbed so far. But now - on the threshold of childhood to youth - their friendship is changing. Ole is in love for the first time and suddenly it's no longer easy to stand by his friend. From Germany.

Juror comments: beautiful coming-of-age story, Ole, Benni, and the rest of the universe presents a unique perspective to including everyone and to fight off social pressure.

Ole is an 11-year-old kid who has to face the decision of staying friends with Benni, who has Down syndrome, or distance from him to stop being bullied by his swim classmates. Added to this is that he also has fallen in love with Lucy, which makes his decision of being friends with Benni even more complicated.

The continuity of the story is great because it shows what a good relationship Benni and Ole have and all the activities that they do together. But this changes as Ole becomes bullied and shamed for being friends with Benni, just because he has Down syndrome. There is a struggle, but the ending highlights the message of the film, and it shows character growth from Ole.

The camera work in this film is very high quality. All the colors are vibrant and vivid, and the camera angles show the various elements of each scene which help the continuity of the movie. The locations vary throughout the film. We see that Benni and Ole are neighbors and that they dream of becoming astronauts someday. They visit an abandoned building where they have built their own spaceship. We also see them interact in their swim class and in at school. The background music is well selected, enhancing scenes, such as when the boys are playing in the spaceship. The music becomes soft and dreamy, adding to the overall tone of the scene with them dreaming and thinking they are in space. So, in moments of conflict, the music becomes stronger and louder to add to the drama of the moment. The main character of this film is Ole (Leopold Schill); the story centers on him and his experiences during that time of his life. I love the camera work of this film. It is such in high quality that it brings out all of the details and colors in each scene. The scene in which they first show the spaceship is an example of this because every single element in the object feels vibrant and I could appreciate all the details that went into making the spaceship.

The message of the film is that we should not give in to social pressure, and definitely not sacrifice friendships or relationships just because other people may not like it or make fun of them. You should know that it contains some mild profanity. There are scenes where Benni is referred to with the r-word, which is a slur toward people with developmental disabilities. Also, Ole says the s-word many times in the movie.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15, plus adults. This movie shows a reality that many children may face if they interact with someone who has Down syndrome. They may be bullied or feel like outsiders because of that. People with disabilities are still humans and deserve the respect and the opportunities that we all have and deserve. Showing this film to youth and families can serve as a reminder to not give in to social pressure and to learn about quality in friendships. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST!

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  • Director
    Anna Ludwig
  • Screenwriter
    Anna Ludwig
  • Producer
    Anna Ludwig
  • Cast
    Leopold Schill, Frederik Dahnk, Helena Prison, Ferdinand Ranninger