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Best Brother Raises Funds To Feature Sibling With Down Syndrome In A Film.

Luke and David Johnson as teenagers

Growing up, Luke Johnson didn’t see a lot of representation for people living with Down syndrome on the big screen.

Luke’s younger brother, David Johnson, has Down syndrome. David is one of the funniest people in Luke’s life, and they’re inseparable buddies who love to laugh. One of their favorite things to do as kids was to make movies with a VHS camcorder, a hobby that eventually lead to Luke’s career as a filmmaker.

“Since the day he was born, he has been one of the greatest blessings to our family,” Luke said. “He’s been making us laugh and smile since the day he was born. We’ve made funny videos growing up with our old VHS camcorder. We would just shoot anything and everything that would make us laugh.”

Ten years ago, Luke promised David that he’d make him a movie star someday. Now that he’s been working in film production for more than a decade, Luke feels the time is right to follow through on that promise!

Luke thought about a story to write for David for years, but eventually he realized the truth made the best story of all. The film will be a buddy road trip comedy with heart, based on a fleeting moment in their shared history that neither brother ever forgot.

It starts with a family trip to Hawaii when Luke and David were teenagers, where David met and fell head-over-heels for a girl named Naria. He told everyone around him that he intended to marry her one day, but there was a problem: He lost her phone number and address; all he had left was a photograph of her.

David kept that photo on his desk for years, inspiring Luke’s story about two brothers setting off on a road trip to find Naria.

Along the way, the brothers will encounter obstacles, including Luke himself, who struggled with substance abuse for years. In the movie, Luke is in recovery but still trying to stay clean. Just as in real life, David doesn’t fully understand Luke’s addiction, but he provides the hopeful and loving support Luke has always relied upon to pull him out of his darkest hours.

Since David can’t memorize a screenplay, much of the movie will be improvised. David and Luke will both play themselves, and Luke is eager to tell a story from his brother’s unique perspective. He believes there just haven’t been enough movies starring people with Down syndrome, and he aims to change that fact.

Luke has launched a fundraising campaign in hopes of raising $200,000 to make their film. So far, their GoFundMe has netted just $33,800, but Luke is hopeful that more people will open their wallets when they hear about his incredible brother and their goal to make him a star.

“There have been some excellent strides made in entertainment featuring people with Down syndrome,” Luke said, “But it’s important to continue shining a spotlight on these wonderful individuals, so that everyone can know what we know: that loving someone with Down syndrome brings joy to your heart, and a smile to your face, and they make the world a better place.”

We would love to see this movie, wouldn’t you? It sounds like such an emotional journey, and David is exactly the kind of movie star we’d like to see at the Academy Awards ceremony someday!

Watch the video below to learn more about Luke and David’s movie, and don’t forget to share.

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