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“Manuel, a fantastic trip,” documentary that aims to destigmatize Down syndrome

One out of every 700 infants is born with Down syndrome. The social barriers these people face beginning at birth are limitless, apparent among their families as well as in school and daily life.   

This group of Chilean youth wants to put an end to these stigmas with its documentary,
“Manuel, a fantastic trip.” It tells the story of a very religious boy who is passionate about culture, travel and languages. 

Actor, “Manuel, a fantastic trip”
“When you told your father you wanted to make a documentary, what did he tell you?”That it would be a really good experience.” 

Manuel's brother
“They have certain abilities that are very developed, and other social ones that are maybe not as much. So, you have to focus on those they know how to do and empower them. Manuel is an artist. He likes to sing, dance, play the guitar, act... He does it very well and he's always done it. So, why not develop that ability instead of giving him a job at McDonald's picking up trays if he can be an artist?” 

Javier saw how they bullied his brother Manuel from a young age at school, how he was excluded from activities and how people treated him differently on the street.    

When Manuel told his parents he wanted to travel, Javier, as the older brother, helped him raise funds and shoot the documentary. He convinced his friends, and they travelled from Chile to Madrid, Paris and Rome.    

Director, “Manuel, a fantastic trip”
“Our short film is a bit of social commentary on how people with Down syndrome are many times overprotected and not allowed to follow their dreams like everyone else. It also shows how these people do in fact have the potential to go out and do the things they want.” 

None of the trip, the documentary or the funding would've been possible without the undying faith of his older brother, Javier.    

Actor, “Manuel, a fantastic trip”
Javier has always been a good brother to me. He's a joker sometimes.” 

Support from family is the cornerstone of this documentary, which they hope will inspire empathy in society, so those with Down syndrome like Manuel aren't excluded and are able to live a life as normal as possible.