Nicholas Herd is a Canadian actor, author, and LGBTQ activist who was born with Down syndrome. He has worked on stage, and in film and television for 20 years. Most recently, Nick hosted Battle of the Fans, an international lip sync competition. He also hosts his own online talk show on the Disability Channel, Keeping it Real with Nick, and starred in a recent episode of Employable Me. Currently, he works as Creative Advocacy Head at L'Arche Canada.
DIRECTOR, WRITER, ARTIST
Joe Bluhm is a writer, director, designer, and artist for film, animation and picture books. His work includes Emmy-winning projects as well as being the story artist for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. He is currently a creative director at TONIC DNA, and spends his free time with his wife and two young kids.
WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER
Michael Joseph McDonald is a poet, filmmaker, and disability advocate. Before filmmaking, he worked as a ghostwriter, publishing four nonfiction books and receiving an Academy of American Poets Prize. He's best known for the docu-series As I Am and the award-winning short 6,000 Waiting. He’s a big fan of triptychs, overlapping story structures, and Sri Lankan buffalo curd. Currently, he works alongside Nicholas Herd in L'Arche Canada.
Growing up in the thriving folk music community of Alberta, Canada, Jordan Hart learned to respect the power of an honest story told through a simple song. His emotive cinematic soundscapes have made their way from studio to screen as his single "Freedom" features on our animated short. (Freebird also doubles as the song's music video).
L’Arche is a federation of 150 communities in 38 countries. L'Arche believes the world is better off because of people with disabilities and they love creating artwork, literature, and films to explore undertold stories of neurodiversity. Their storytelling ethic is to tell stories with people with intellectual disabilities, not just about people with intellectual disabilities.
TONIC DNA, Canada's Academy Award®-winning animation studio, and their staff of animators generously agreed to roll up their sleeves, sharpen their pencils, and animate Freebird. With over 35 years of experience and a vision of inspiring positive action in the world through animation, they were the perfect partners for Freebird.
Louis Pilotte, Executive Producer
Jordan Hart, Executive Producer
Stefanie Bitton, Executive Producer
Nicholas Herd, Creative Director
Michael Joseph McDonald, Writer, Director, Producer
Joe Bluhm, Director, Writer, Artist
Jennifer Nadeau, Producer
Mariana Duran, Producer
David Goldstyn, Illustrator
Joe Bluhm, Character Design
Michael Renaud, Character Design
Guillaume Blackburn, 2D Animator
Malcolm Sutherland, 2D Animator
Celia Bullwinkell, 2D Animator
Myriam Elda Arsenault, 2D Animator
Jordan Hart, Music
S.I. Audio, Sound Effects
Tommy Pilling, “Self”
Maryanne Pilling, “Self”
Jad Issa, “Self
Sader Issa “Self”
Claude Kitogo “Self”
Karen Gaffney “Self”
Linda Slinger “Self
Christophe Pierrecourt “Self”
Performed by Jordan Hart
Written by Jordan Kaminski
(p) Allpoints/Believe 2020
Licensed Courtesy of Believe
Tonic DNA to the Tonic Team
L’Arche to Richard Rooney & Laura Diner, Anonymous donor, L’Arche Atlanta, Warren Pot, Monique Pantel, Damien Cheaveau, Yohan Perera, Nicolas Guérin, Jo-Annie Gauthier, Alexandre Boyer,
Insert logos of L’Arche Canada, Tonic DNA, Factor, Canada gov, Allpoints