ABOUT THE FILM
For Dan Makar the paintbrush isn’t just a tool to express himself, but a key that unlocks doors to a world where everything is possible.
“Dan the Man the Artist” is a documentary that follows the inspirational journey of Dan Makar, a 44 year-old artist with Down syndrome, as he pursues his dreams against seemingly insurmountable odds.
A former Special Olympics champion whose career came to a sudden and devastating end, Dan turns to art as a way of coping with the difficult world around him. Expressing his optimistic perspective on life, he is inspired by Pablo Picasso’s words, “Everything you can imagine is real.”
Immersed in his imagination, Dan finds refuge from an ailing reality by painting portraits of his favorite pop-culture icons, including the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and more.
Despite all the obstacles in front of him, and while battling serious health complications, Dan dreams of becoming a famous artist, leaving his group home, gaining his independence, and marrying his long-term girlfriend, Annie McHale, with whom he hopes to start a family. Extremely beautiful and at times painfully honest, this is the moving story of an unsinkable spirit that inspires hope in the face of adversity.
Directed by Dan’s younger brother, award-winning filmmaker Matthew Makar,
this film gives the viewer an unflinching and intimate look into one family’s
very real struggles with Down syndrome, and their courage to not
only face the realities, but to challenge its limitations.
With the help of art therapy and the support of those closest to him,
Dan’s dreams begin to come true when a world-renowned art gallery
offers to host his first solo exhibition in Manhattan.
What happens next creates an unforgettable ending,