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Lay Down Your Heart film image, director Marie Clements

Lay Down Your Heart

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Directed by renowned theatre artist and film director Marie Clements, Lay Down Your Heart is a touching tribute to Niall McNeil, a multi-talented artist in theatre and various other mediums, who happens to be a person living with Down Syndrome. From having grown up in Caravan Farm Theatre, and co-writing plays like King Arthur’s Night, McNeil has established himself as an integral part of the Vancouver theatre scene. We are introduced to the artist’s rich inner world and meet his ‘family members’—who may not be blood relations, but are surely heart relations. Very much a labour of love, this documentary features well-known figures and collaborators from the theatre and artistic community, all voicing praise and affection for McNeil. Shot mostly in front of an all-white backdrop with McNeil’s drawings animated on-screen, the film has a distinctly playful visual style. Colourful, full of joy, and possessing an imaginative spirit, Lay Down Your Heart is a heartwarming celebration of a local artist who has succeeded on his own terms.


Q&A Oct 6 & Oct 9


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70 min
Women Directors

Book Tickets

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Executive Producer

Shirley Vercruysse


Shirley Vercruysse


Marie Clements, Niall McNeill


Mike McKinlay


Sarah Hedar

Production Design

James Boatman

Original Music

Wayne Lavallee


Marie Clements headshot

Marie Clements

A writer, director, and producer whose career has spanned film, TV, radio, and live performance, Marie Clements is a Dene/Métis filmmaker and the founder of Marie Clements Media, a production company specializing in the creation and production of media works that ignite an Indigenous and intercultural reality. Her dramatic feature debut Red Snow (2019) received numerous awards including Most Popular Canadian Feature at VIFF and Best Director at the American Indian Film Festival. Clements’ 2017 documentary The Road Forward opened the DOXA Documentary Film Festival, received multiple awards, and has screened at more than 300 venues in North America.

Filmography: The Road Forward (2017); Red Snow (2019)