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10th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival
By: Isaac Zablocki | February 27th 2018, 6:18 pm
Isaac Zablocki

Isaac Zablock is the Director of Film Programs at JCC Manhattan. He attended film school at Columbia University and went on to work at Miramax Films. Previously, he produced and directed feature films and developed film educational programs for the Board of Education. Since 2004, Isaac has been developing film programs at the JCC including the Israel Film Center. Beyond ReelAbilities, he programs multiple film festivals annually, including the acclaimed Other Israel Film Festival, which focuses on Arab and minority populations in Israel.

largest-dis-film-festivalGet ready for a captivating experience like no other.  

The 10th annual ReelAbilities film festival is the largest disability film festival in the world.  

The 7-day festival takes place in New York City, featuring an array of entertainment events and over 30 exceptional films.  This year there are 30 screenings in the NY metro area, March 8 – 14.

Transforming event! Films and conversations were insightful, entertaining. A great experience all around.”

The inspirational films are separately screened in 15 additional cities in North America.  Each city coordinates its own local screening schedules during the year.

Transformative Entertainment

Not only are the films highly entertaining, the entire festival is designed to transform the way we view inclusion and diversity regarding disabilities.  

After watching each film, audience members get a chance to discuss the film and its topics directly with the filmmaker and often times a guest with a disability portrayed in the film.  These dialogues bring viewers even deeper into the themes seen in the films.

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Of last year’s 9,000 festival-goers in the NY metropolitan area, 97% rated the festival’s films, talkbacks, and accessibility as “very good” or “excellent.”  And 95% of audience members indicate that the festival positively influenced their perception of people with disabilities.

“Watching the film made me realize I need to change the way I care for disabled people as a physician…thank you!”

An Array of Arts and Celebration

The festival also includes a long list of special events.  These include a Music Hackathon, TV panel, Family events, Autism Focused Day, dance, theater, exhibits, and more.  For the first time, this year’s festival will feature a Fashion and Disability event as well as a standup comedy night.

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ReelAbilities pulls all of this off while also providing one of the most accessible entertainment events available.  

Every feature film provides captions and Audio Description. The conversations are live captioned and offer ASL interpretation.  The combination of accessibility aids and captivating films make ReelAbilities a festival for absolutely everyone to enjoy.

Open to All

ReelAbilities opens their theater in New York City during the daytime hours for schools and educator groups.  The widely publicized festival also offers many opportunities to participate, including promotional partners, volunteer opportunities, group arrangements, and various sponsorship levels.

The film festival has become a true celebration of people from all walks of life.  It is an event where someone in a wheelchair can bee seen dancing with everyone else at a festive party. This unifying event propels the wider movement for inclusion of people with disabilities in general, and specifically within the world of filmmaking.

“Powerful, wonderful films—sensitive, honest, empowering, encouraging, life-affirming. Thank you!”

Tickets for the main events and screenings in New York can be purchased online at ReelAbilities.org/newyork/tickets/.  Prices vary based on venue.
For partnership, sponsorship, group arrangements, or to host a screening in your city, please visit ReelAbilities.org/newyork for more information.

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