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Niall McNeil embodies many different roles both on and off the stage. He is an artist. An actor. A poet. A father. An ex-husband. A Shakespearean hero. A soldier. An improviser.

In this colourful and tactile documentary by Métis Dene filmmaker Marie Clements, Niall introduces the audience to the people that make up his chosen family, as well as the people that make up the worlds that he writes, paints, dreams and feels as an actor affiliated with Caravan Farm Theatre in British Columbia.

Lay Down Your Heart activates our hearts and minds with humour and a celebration of the power and knowledge of what our imaginations have to offer. Led by Niall’s example and experiences as an individual with Down Syndrome, the film subverts rigid traditional definitions of family, prompting us to deeply consider who we are to one another in our actions and bonds above all.

Ahlam Hassan, Programmer


Director Bio:

A renowned writer, director and producer whose decorated career has spanned film, TV, radio and live performance, Marie Clements is a Métis Dene filmmaker and the founder of MCM, a production company specializing in the development, creation and production of innovative works of media that ignite an Indigenous and intercultural reality. Her multi-award-winning films have screened internationally at Cannes, TIFF, MOMA, VIFF, the Whistler Film Festival, the American Indian Film Festival and the imagineNATIVE Film Festival.



Marie Clements


Mike Mckinlay

Principal Cast



Shirley Vercruysse


Sarah Hedar


Marie Clements, Niall McNeil

Lay Down Your Heart

Marie Clements

November 5th, 11AM at The Paradise Theatre

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