Dean Goes Surfing
Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!
Step 1: Watch the film.
Dean is a charismatic teen who loves breakfast, Rihanna and riding a wave. Dean has Down’s syndrome. Differences can be daunting but Dean pursues his passion for the board and finds fellowship through Surfing with Smiles, an organization devoted to opening up surfing for those with special needs. “Yeah, there’s a moment…” explains Dean about riding a wave, “There’s love there. And freedom. Total freedom.”
About the FIlmmaker
Caitlyn is a film director and editor based in New York City. She was awarded a Primetime Emmy in 2015 and an ACE Eddie Award in 2016 for her editing on “The Jinx,” HBO’s Peabody Award-winning miniseries. In 2016 she wrote and directed “August,” a short narrative film that screened around the country. Caitlyn has also directed and edited for brands including Google, New Balance, and Poland Spring.
Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.
- While watching the film, were there aspects that were surprising to you in spending time with someone who lives with Down’s Syndrome?
- Is there something that you do that provides you with a feeling of love and euphoria, similar to Dean’s description of how the ‘wave is pulling out my emotions for people’? What is it about this activity that makes you feel this way? Can it be replicated in other situations?
- The organization of this program seemed relatively easy to pull together: The Surfing with Smiles Co-founder talked to the surfing outfitter about an idea she had and then the program grew. How easy do you think it really was? Have you had any ideas for the common good that you haven’t followed through with because it seems too improbable to sustain: not enough time, not enough resources? Is there a way to start smaller, cheaper?
- Through this film and others within the Unlonely Film Festival, people talk about the magical power of water. Apply this element to your artwork to see surprising results. Experiment with a range of materials—crayons, paint, craypas, color pencils, markers—and mix the materials with water and paintbrushes to see new results. In some cases, you may want to mix the drawing implement with water before painting it on your paper (paint, markers, pencils). In other cases, you’ll want to add water to the paper after you’ve already completed the work (crayons, craypas). Observe and appreciate the different results each medium produces when mixed with water.
- Make an origami floating paper boat. Pick a thick A4-size colorful piece of paper and then watch the origami tutorial here. Then add a few stylistic flourishes to make the boat your very own: a toothpick mast? An ornate design along the brim? Plank boards drawn along the bottom? Then bring the boat to a public lake, pond, river, or pool and set sail. Want to use the boat to engage and bring delight to others? Include a fun message and make sure others are there to dock the boat.
- Send a note of support to Dean to encourage his persistence and confidence. Share a personal story about a challenge you faced and eventually overcame…or are hoping to overcome. Send a note to Dean c/o the production company.
Our Try This page has even more creative expression inspiration!
Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.
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