Eugene, a teenager with Down syndrome, spends hours drawings his favourite thing: rainbows. But behind his seemingly colourful world is a reality he can’t escape: his mother’s illness.
Desperate to help her, Eugene learns that hanging onto the life he knows means losing more than he ever imagined.
Writer/director: Kire Paputts
Producers: Kire Paputts, James Vandewater
With Rainbow Connection I wanted to look at a character with Down syndrome and explore the stigmas and stereotypes attached to it.
There are very few films where people with disabilities are given lead roles and are rarely given a voice in Canadian cinema. When they are, it’s usually people with disabilities playing a stereotype of themselves, or actors playing characters with disabilities.
I wanted to make Eugene a strong character who rises above adversity. I wanted to give a special needs actor a chance to play a demanding, yet mature, role. Something a little more gritty.
Everyone struggles sometimes and everyone makes mistakes or decisions they regret – even people with special needs. Eugene’s character arc follows a loss of innocence, but it also does more than that. It portrays a Down syndrome character outside of conventional, established depictions of individuals with special needs.
About Kire Paputts
Kire Paputts is an award-winning producer/director with experience in an array of film/video industry roles.
A Ryerson University film program graduate, he currently works in both the creative and corporate side of the industry.
As a writer/director Kire has made a name for himself with short and feature length films that have played around the world at such prestigious film festivals as the Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, Vancouver International Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
With a background in both narrative and documentary filmmaking, Kire has worked on numerous projects of multiple formats and lengths as a producer/director/editor.