The Sprout Film Festival’s mission is to inspire audiences, promote inclusion and support transformative filmmaking as an integral part of social change. This unique event, which focuses exclusively on films that celebrate the diverse lives and creativity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), strives to challenge assumptions and breakdown stereotypes. By introducing powerful, thought-provoking films from around the world to new and ever-more inclusive audiences, we hope to promote greater acceptance, celebrate difference and light the spark to help make the invisible, visible.
The Sprout Film Festival was founded in 2003 and is programmed and supported by Sprout, a New York City based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing innovative programming to individuals with I/DD.
Using a video camera and home movie footage, a brother shows the remarkably deep bond he shares with his sister, who has Down syndrome, as he strives to fulfill her dream of becoming a Hollywood diva.
Nightmare Turned Beautiful is a documentary short that explores, with striking honesty, how the birth of a daughter with Down Syndrome transforms a father and his family’s life.
The newest single by aspiring hip hop artist Cam Lasley (aka Laz D).
Maeve and Billy are separated by the Belfast peace lines. The spark of love has been ignited. But the physical barriers, and a reluctance to allow the relationship blossom keep them in their own communities.
A dance film that follows the journey of an everyday dance rehearsal. Leading to a dramatic stage performance, the film showcases the talents of ballet dancers with learning disabilities.
A man decides to go to the park to relax. There he finds himself in an unusual circumstance.
Glimpse into the lives of three incredible children as they prove they can do anything anyone else can do and better. They push themselves to break free from they protective bubbles of their families.
Follow a team of superheroes as they bring new life into a supermarket on the verge of going out of business.
This film explores the challenges of growing up and living with Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s a voice over narrative that demonstrated that Asperger’s is not simply “being a little awkward,” rather it is about adapting to one’s limitations in the face of anxiety and isolation. The technique is a collage of photography, rotoscope, animated characters and live action footage.
Brian Tolley is a teenager on the autism spectrum who used to by withdrawn and nearly nonverbal. All that changed when he took up twist-tie art and found a way to express his inner artist.
A Colorado family with a child on the autism spectrum searches to find anything that might help their son cope with anxiety. They end up finding help in an unlikely place- The Colorado Correctional Industries, Prison Trained Service Dog Companion Program.
Ben is a young man looking for the perfect relationship but wonders if the fact that his has autism changes the way the girls he knows relate to him.
A look into the life of an eight year old boy with autism, specifically his interest in wind chimes, and explores the challenges and particularities of life with autism.
Filmmaker, Edward Reynoso and Adam Carter met after signing up for peer tutoring at their high school. In Edward’s opinion, Adam is one of the most interesting kids he’s met. And so this film was made for him.
In this experimental short, take a ride through the eyes of a boy with autism who makes everything in his world dance.
Ryan Matthews is an accomplished artist with Asperger’s Syndrome. Since childhood he has been perfecting the expression of his singular subject: TRAINS. Ryan talks about the evolution of his work and his journey from isolation to seeing a bright future expanding before him.
“I Am Alive” is the newest music video from the Australian band, Rudely Interrupted. The band consists of six members, five of whom have intellectual disabilities.
This short documentary takes us into the incredible world of a light globe collector, where a passion for electronics is all-consuming and a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome is nothing more than a label.
Tanner DeMita is an 18 year old senior at Stow-Munroe Falls High School. He discusses the time when he learned about his diagnosis of being autistic, and how it has actually helped him understand why he is the way he is. We learn of some of the struggles he faces in life, and some of his incredible successes. His twin sister offers her input into his life, and some of her experiences.
Autism in Love follows four adults with an autism spectrum disorder as they pursue and navigate through romantic relationships.
Lori Sousa knew Peter Maxmean was her soul mate when they first met, and now they are showing how people with intellectual disabilities can live, work and thrive in a community.
Rachel writes a letter to her future child describing her experiences of caring for her big brother Matthew, who is on the autism spectrum and has Down syndrome.
Jackson Doll is nine years old and has never had a play date or gone to a birthday party. His family has never seen him play a sport or even make a friend. What would you do if your child couldn’t cope with the world? Would you be able to push them to their potential even if you knew it was causing them distress? Go Jackson Doll is the story of a program that challenges special needs children to realize their potential through an unlikely outlet: ice skating. It’s also the story of one brave family who would do whatever necessary to see their son succeed in a world he has trouble even comprehending.
Kyle is a 29-year-old multi-racial adoptee with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). This documentary follows Kyle as he prepares to compete in the 2014 Washington State Special Olympics.
There is no word for “autism” in the Somali language; yet, in the Somali refugee population of Minnesota, many American-born children are being diagnosed with severe autism. How will their parents, and the clinical community, respond?
A family with a daughter on the autism spectrum sells everything and goes to live deep in the jungles of Trinidad to make their daughter happy.
Jason McElwain’s 20 points in four minutes inspired people around the world and fine-tuned the dialogue on individuals with autism. But it was the dedication of Jason’s mom, Debbie, who coached her son and gave him the strength and confidence to succeed.
Kevin, 24, lives with his parents. His short term memory, anxiety and anger are a result of diabetes-induced seizures as an infant. He now copes with his set backs by eating foods that do not trigger outbursts.
James Colburn, in many ways, is like any other 26 year old man. He watches movies, works, coaches, and plays baseball. Yet there’s something different about James. He was born with a genetic condition called Fragile X Syndrome, which results in a spectrum of intellectual and physical disabilities. Although this condition means a lifetime of challenges for James, he remains a child at heart who finds joy in the smallest things and uses his gift of comedic timing to inspire those around him. James is living proof there is love and laughter in the face of autism.
Jez Colborne’s song explores his fascination with the pomp and ceremony of war, an experience he’s locked out of because of his learning-disability.
A group of countryside students are preparing a special trip to the beach. Marina, a 15-year-old girl with Down Syndrome has a strong wish to visit the sea for the first time. Forbidden to travel with the other kids, Marina starts her own journey towards the Atlantic Ocean.
A tale of love and ingenuity.
Wayne, a man with limited communication skills learns the harsh reality of love and romance. Nigel, his support worker and friend guides him through this puzzling human condition, but Wayne has ideas of his own.
A man witnesses the physical mutation of a young woman with Down Syndrome.
“I Always Have To” is the newest music video for Finnish punk rock band, PerttiKurikka’s Name Day (PKN.) The band consists of four members who each have learning disabilities, including autism and Down syndrome.
Lou may have Down syndrome but she is more than capable of looking after herself. She lives with her controlling sister Ashley, who always gets what she wants. When a new man comes into their lives, the sisters become love rivals, bringing their relationship to a head. (*mature content)
A poem written by Anonymous and recite/ performed by Nadirah McFadden. (*mature content)
A man with Down syndrome dreams of reviving his mother.
A young woman with Down Syndrome (GLEE’s Lauren Potter) grapples with intimacy, identity, and adulthood after an unplanned pregnancy with her boyfriend. (*mature content)
When a young woman with an intellectual disability is place in an institution, she will stop at nothing to return to the man of her dreams. Featuring a breakthrough cast with intellectual and developmental disabilities, LOVE LAND challenges stereotypes in a story of labels, love, and liberty. (*mature content)