Original Film Title: ROCCO UP
Director’s Name: John Madere
Writer’s Name: Ruth Mamaril
Producer: Kevin McCann, Donald Intonato
Country of Origin: United States
Country of Filming: United States
Runtime: 22 minutes 26 seconds
Rocco is an autistic boy who has always felt at home in the ocean. He lives in Montauk with his parents and younger sister. Ben, Rocco’s father, who has always dreamt of having a surfing son, sets out to teach Rocco, who is non-verbal, to surf. Sara, Rocco’s mother, takes the lead on his cognitive and language development. Challenges persist, but triumphs abound. Both parents find that Rocco is teaching them powerful ways to be present. Over the years, Rocco develops confidence, grace, and remarkable balance in the water. His elation as he stands up and moves to the front of his board is clear to everyone. The beachgoers watch, spontaneously cheer “Rocco up!” and reflect on his focus, nimbleness, and joy when surfing with his father. Unscripted interviews are testimonials to boundless family love, the stoke of community support, and the neuroscience behind our enchantment with water.