Iron Family Documentary

Dances With Films Debut's Inspiring Award-Winning Documentary "Iron Family"

A young woman with Down syndrome rouses her quirky family to perform her original play in a once-thriving rural mining town.

Jazmine Faries, a 32-year old woman with Down syndrome, is obsessed with soap operas, Barbie dolls, and Matthew McConaughey. For the past 5 summers, her family has performed her original stageplays for a small audience in their town of Iron River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In this sixth season, we follow the creative process of writing, rehearsing, and performing the play. Family bonds between her brother, Chad, and her mother, Kate, are strengthened and put to the test by the mishaps and chaos of coordinating a production with limited resources. Along the way we see Jazmine’s personal struggle for independence, her yearning for a romantic partner, and how a single spark of creativity can spread joy throughout a community.

“Iron Family” Film Stills
WHO

About the Director:
Patrick Longstreth has a passion for storytelling that shines a light on unsung heroes. His creative pursuits have led him to the local courthouse in Savannah, GA, writing about the link between homelessness and mental health, and to remote villages in Uganda, filming the construction of sustainable compost toilets for Patricia Arquette’s foundation, Give Love. Since beginning his career as a video editor over 20 years ago, he has served as director, producer and visual effects supervisor on music videos, educational films, and corporate videos. He is very excited to release his first feature documentary in 2022.

About our Cast:

Jazmine Faries was born with Down syndrome. She creates her own extended family through her imagined relationships with pop stars. While she has some social interaction at her job and physical activity through Zumba, most of her time is spent on her bedroom floor with Barbie dolls, television, journals, and her indomitable imagination.

Chad Faries struggled early on with substance abuse and found himself in adolescent treatment when his sister Jazmine was just two years old. He has been sober ever since and was the first in the family to attain college degrees. He helps Jazmine edit her script and produce the play by creating flyers, designing sets, and assistant directing with little experience.

Kate German is the witty, cantankerous-yet-tender single mother to Chad and Jazmine. She once lived a nomadic lifestyle that had her following love interests around the country in hopes of a better life. Now surrounded by her sisters and extended family in Iron River, she struggles to maintain her health amidst the challenges of addiction and caring for Jazmine.

Greg Banks is an Iron River native, retired special education teacher and former boyfriend of Kate some 40 years ago. While now married to a man, he has remained Chad and Jazmine’s father figure. He initiated the first performance of Jazmine’s play by transcribing a script with Jazmine and then rallying Chad and his family to perform the play in Kate’s garage.

The Faries Family is a colorful portrait of resourceful women who all share the spirit of their recently deceased mother. Holly is the family tattooist, artistically inclined and business savvy. Amy leads weekly art lessons in her basement studio where her participants help construct the scenes for Jazmine’s play. Faith raised all her children in Iron County who in turn have their own families with children.

WHERE

West Coast Premiere at this year’s Dances With Films (June 9th—19th, 2022)

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