Rocco Up, a documentary filmed & directed by John Madere, captures the heartfelt story of a severely autistic boy whose father taught him to surf as a non-verbal means of connecting with him. Along their journey the surf community of Montauk, NY, was instrumental in cheering him to stand “up” on the surfboard. Our challenge was to create a brand strategy and to promote the film to support the production’s fundraising effort.


Our team curated still images from the film to engage an audience in the emotional story while highlighting the natural beauty of Montauk—the backdrop to this tale. We designed the film’s brand identity to provide visual consistency. We created the strategy and design for the website, all promotional print and digital collateral for events and a social media campaign to drive awareness and funding.


As of October, Rocco Up was accepted into the Hamptons International Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Korean International Short Film Festival and Surfalorous Film Festival. The film’s director, John Madere, won the award for Best Documentary at the Korean International Short Film Festival and the editor and writer, Ruth Mamaril, won the award for Best Editing at the Surfalorus Film Festival. Social media has been meeting donor acquisition goals.

Creative Director: Lynda Decker
Designers: Kevin Lamb, Jason Mangelson
Interactive Designer: Kevin Lamb
Social Media Designer: Scottie Norton
Photos: John Madere
Project Manager: Lani Tarozzi

Awards Won:
GRAPHIS Branding Gold
GRAPHIS Poster Gold
GDUSA American Graphic Design