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Candidato 34 directed by Ryan Marley trailer
Candidato 34 directed by Ryan Marley

Bryan Russell is billed as the first person in the world with Down syndrome to ever run for public office.

Candidato 34 directed by Ryan Marley (Intervention) is a documentary short chronicling Bryan’s extraordinary story in the days before the 2020 congressional election in Peru, as he attempts to convince a reluctant public that he is capable of being a congressman, and an important voice for change.

Candidato 34 will make its World Premiere in the FilmSlam-Spanish Language Cinema Shorts Program at the 2022 Cleveland International Film Festival. The film will screen as part of that program every morning at 9:30am at Playhouse Square on March 31, April 1, and April 4-8.

First, he broke barriers by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to graduate from the University of Peru. Now, Bryan has his eyes set on congress. The 27-year-old ran in the January 2020 elections for congress, making him the first individual in the world with Down syndrome to ever run for public office. As a member of the Centre-Right party, Peru Nacion, Bryan wants to use his campaign to raise awareness about people with developmental disabilities while providing an alternative to the scourge of corruption that has brought down presidents and weakened Democratic institutions. “I’m someone clean, honest, transparent,” said Russell. He is known for his captivating public speaking skills and his innate ability to connect with people.

Watch the trailer for Candidato 34

“Candidato 34 is not an earnest, sentimental film,” said Marley. “It’s not a film that fears the shadows of Bryan’s soul or the harsh realities of how people feel about people with Down syndrome. It’s a real take with heartbreaking and humorous shifts in tone. Bryan Russell is truly exceptional, and we tried to honor his story every day we were filming with him in Peru. I want to change the way people think about individuals with Down syndrome. Bryan Russell challenged perceptions people weren’t even aware they had.”

Ryan Marley (Director) is a filmmaker and television director best known for his work in documentary, factual and kids TV. He has been nominated for 3 Canadian Screen Awards and has directed over 25 series and documentaries. He most recently directed all 4 seasons of the groundbreaking documentary series “Employable Me” which tells the stories of job seekers who prove that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. The series won the Diversify TV Excellence Award at MIPCOM 2017 & 2020, a 2018, 2019 & 2020 Rockie Award, an NYTVF Award and was nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards. His documentary “Sitting Tall: The Patrick Anderson Story” examines the background and career of Patrick Anderson, arguably the greatest wheelchair basketball player of all time, as he prepares for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. It was featured at the 2021 Awareness Film Festival and The 2021 New York Shorts International Film Festival where it won Best Documentary. Ryan splits his time between Toronto and Los Angeles.

Produced in association with Lionsgate’s unscripted division, Pilgrim Media Group, the film is produced by Katie Lafferty, Paul Boynett, and George Wright who previously worked on the award-winning documentary series Employable Me Canada, which won the Diversify Excellence Award at MIPCOM 2017 & 2020, a 2018, 2019 & 2020 Rockie Award, an NYTVF Award, and was nominated for five Canadian Screen Awards.

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