Conshohocken native produces first Hollywood film starring actor with Down syndrome

Jim Melwert
August 16, 2019 - 8:20 pm
Filmmaker Aaron Scotti outside Gypsy Saloon in Conshy for PBF

Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The movie “The Peanut Butter Falcon” is billed as the first Hollywood film with a lead actor with Down syndrome, and it’s taking the movie world by storm.

This weekend, a Conshohocken native who helped make the movie is back home telling everyone, including KYW Newsradio, that they should go see it. 

Aaron Scotti says he wanted to be a part of “The Peanut Butter Falcon” as soon as he heard about it.

“It’s about a kid with down syndrome who’s locked up in an old folk’s home,” Scotti said. “Zak is a big fan of wrestling and one day they devise a plan to help Zak escape and send him on his, saying ‘Go be young and free and go be that wrestler.’”

In addition to names like Shia LeBouef, Dakota Johnson and Bruce Dern, the film’s main character, Zak, is played by Zack Gottsagen a 22-year-old with Downs.

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” has already won the Audience Award at SXSW. It had a limited release earlier this month and opens everywhere next week.

Scotti says he’s hitting the pavement to drum up as much grass-roots support for this movie for one main reason.

“I didn’t finance it so I’m not – I don’t get anything else other than seeing Zak live his purpose which I think this is. I mean he’s a pioneer now.”

You can listen to the full interview with local filmmaker Aaron Scotti below: