Special Affects Films and Festival

$3,900 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 31 people in 39 months
Steve Gatlin
for MarinLink - Vets Adopt Pets
 NOVATO, CA

http://UpliftingDown.com

“Special Affects” is a film series about people, families, organizations and more in the special needs community. Our dream is to create a new video each month in conjunction with short and feature documentaries and music videos. One month you may laugh, the next cry, then perhaps get angry about an injustice in the world. We want to share the countless ways in which “Special Affects” the world around us.

Filmmaker Steve Gatlin and Nationally Acclaimed Peer Mentor Michael Pritchard have worked together on numerous documentary film projects for over a decade. While the topics, people and organizations have differed wildly, one core message has always been a connection to the heart. It is from those messages of the heart that the idea for “Special Affects” was born. It is of utmost importance that positive, informative and enlightening stories about all forms of “special needs” get to be told. By telling these stories we hope they will then be shared. Through sharing, we believe we can all become kinder from the wisdom we have gained.

In the United States, special needs is a term used in clinical diagnostic and functional development to describe individuals who require assistance for disabilities that may be physical, cognitive, or psychological. For instance, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases 9th edition both give guidelines for clinical diagnosis. People with Autism, Down syndrome, dyslexia, blindness, or cystic fibrosis, for example, may be considered to have special needs.

Special Affects launched as a website in the summer of 2011 in conjunction with the birth of Gatlin’s son, Adam. He and his wife learned through amniocentesis that Adam would be born with Down Syndrome, and as an experienced and passionate filmmaker it seemed only natural that the journey they were about to embark on could also be shared in hopes of enlightening and helping others along the way. Since beginning, they have created numerous short films to support the mission of Special Affects, but now it is time to take the entire project to another level.

Uplifting Down – Sharing Journeys, Enriching Lives


Do you remember the rush of emotions first felt when you found out your child was entering this world with something called Down Syndrome? How much, if any, did you know about what this would mean and how you would go about raising this little being? Were there resources readily available from the doctors who revealed the news, or were you left feeling alone and stranded on an emotional island in the middle of an information-less sea? Where did you go from there, and how? For all of the differences you may have felt about your situation along the way, the similarities you’ve shared with others in your same shoes are far greater than you may realize.

Sharing our individual journeys with Down Syndrome means sharing our experiences. Sharing our experiences means that we can learn from each other how to best advocate for our children when they come home from the hospital, through school life and into adulthood. Uplifting Down is real families, sharing real life, in hopes of lightening the emotional load of the next person about to embark on a similar path, because we have all been in similar shoes.

Filmmaker Steve Gatlin and Nationally Acclaimed Peer Mentor Michael Pritchard have worked together on numerous documentary film projects for over a decade. While the topics, people and organizations have differed wildly, one core message has always been a connection to the heart. It is from those messages of the heart that the idea for “Special Affects” was born. It is of utmost importance that positive, informative and enlightening stories about all forms of “special needs” get to be told. By telling these stories we hope they will then be shared. Through sharing, we believe we can all become kinder from the wisdom we have gained.

Filming officially began in June 2015 when Gatlin and his family attended the National Down Syndrome Congress Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the course of three days Gatlin filmed 38 interviews with willing attendees of the largest conference about Down syndrome in North America.

One of the most compelling interviews came from Rose Mordi, founder of Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria, as she described her daughter with Down syndrome being born 28 years ago. After being told her daughter was “a snake,” and that she should “put it in the river,” Rose began her own quest to educate the unknowing in her country about Down syndrome.
Gatlin was invited, and will travel with three other crew members to Nigeria to capture the story in detail this October.

Additional plans include following up with additional interviewees from the Phoenix sessions and well as traveling to numerous countries over the next three years to create the most extensive film about Down syndrome and special needs around the globe ever conceived.

A project of this magnitude cannot happen without YOUR help! We are excited to have teamed up with MarinLink, Inc, a 501c3 organization to provide us with fiscal sponsorship to make this dream project a reality.

Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution today, and please forward this exciting project along for others to see as well!


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Happy World Down Syndrome Day!
Today we celebrate with others around the world the amazing people who have touched our lives and continue to educate and inspire others around them.

To honor today we are releasing the film "Uplifting Down: Nigeria" on YouTube for the world to see!

We ask that you watch and share with as many people as you can. With your help and that of others we may be able to raise enough money to make more films like this that highlight the amazing work being done around the globe to help people with special needs have better lives.
Uplifting Down: Nigeria
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Happy #GivingTuesday everyone from Special Affects. The past few years have been filled with numerous creative endeavors resulting in inspiring films and projects, and we hope this is only the beginning.

Did you know that any donation you make towards Special Affects is tax-deductible?
If you have been moved by any of the films we have produced, or hope to keep new projects going in the future, please consider a donation to the cause.

Please visit our website to see what we're up to and share this along as well....

http://SpecialAffects.org
http://SpecialAffects.org
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Awesome news this week as we celebrate the new Special Affects short documentary "Our Boarding School" has been accepted into two film festivals!
First up is the Centennial Sk8 Film Festival in Arlington, WA, September 24!
Then off to the ACTION! Int Film Festival in San Diego, CA October 20-22.

The film is about the skateboard building, riding and art program at UCP of the North Bay's Cypress School in Petaluma, Ca.

This and all of our other projects can continue thanks to your tax-deductible support! Thank you and please spread the word....
http://SpecialAffects.org
"Our Boarding School"
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We are SO excited to announce Uplifting Down: Nigeria has been accepted into the Velvet Rope Film Festival in Sutter Creek, Ca! The festival takes place September 30-Oct 2, and we hope to see you there!

Projects like this and everything else we are trying to do at Special Affects continue with the generous tax-deductible gifts from all of you!

Thank you and please spread the word!
Uplifting Down: Nigeria
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Read a Previous Update
Penny Green
38 months ago

I can tell that Rose's comments were an eye opener for you. I felt the same when I first had contact with her and that resulted in my visits. Here's my photo montage from my first visit in 2009 https://youtu.be/AH4WobimalA - can't wait to see your production.

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$3,900 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 31 people in 39 months
Created September 5, 2015
Funds raised will benefit:
MarinLink - Vets Adopt Pets
Certified Charity
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San Rafael, CA
EIN: 200879422
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
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$30
Anonymous
21 months ago
JW
$50
Jennifer Whalen
24 months ago

Thank you for the experiences and amazing work!

AS
$150
Aunt Diane and Uncle Scott
31 months ago

Exciting news about the upcoming film festival!

$40
Anonymous
35 months ago
KC
$30
Kara Cunningham
37 months ago

Thank you so, so much for this incredible story-telling effort. Amazingly beautiful in so many ways.

AF
$50
Amy Frey
37 months ago

In honor of our friend Owen Reynolds and the community that embraces him and his family! My world is forever changed knowing him and his family!

Penny Green
38 months ago

I can tell that Rose's comments were an eye opener for you. I felt the same when I first had contact with her and that resulted in my visits. Here's my photo montage from my first visit in 2009 https://youtu.be/AH4WobimalA - can't wait to see your production.

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