Reel Abilities Film Festival Runs April 2-9

(released 3/7/2019)

In a release from the festival, it was announced that "Oscar® nominated and Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky's stunning film Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, will open its 11th annual festival on April 2." and "The closing night film The Drummer and the Keeper, directed by Nick Kelley, won numerous awards including the Rising Star Award at the Irish Film and Television Awards and the Festival Jury Prize at the Breaking Down Barriers International Disability Film Festival. In the film, Gabriel is a drummer in a promising band, desperate to hide his bipolar diagnosis from his exasperated band mates. At a therapeutic mixed-ability soccer game he's obliged to attend, Gabriel meets Christopher, a teenager with Asperger Syndrome, and the two are forced to "make friends." The film will screen Tuesday, April 9 at 7 p.m. at the IAC Building, co-presented by Vimeo.

Issac Zablocki is the Director of Film Programs at JCC Manhattan and is the Festival Founder and Director. The festival is anchored at the JCC with venues spreading through the city's five boroughs and metropolitan area.

The festival's mission is to promote awareness of people's art, expression and stories that are reflecting different abilities. In addition, the festival considers different abilities for audience members so that everyone may engage in the movie going experience. Here is the accessibility provided for the festival as published on the festival site:

ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York strives to include all people. All festival venues are wheelchair accessible, and the festival presents all films with open captions. The JCC offers CART (live transcription) at every event for introductions, post-screening conversations, and non-film programming. In 2018 for the first time, the JCC also offers Audio Description for the visually impaired for every feature film and several short films. Some other venues will also offer this accessibility aid. (Audio Description availability is noted on individual venue and program pages.) ASL interpretation will be available at many events at the JCC and may be available at other venues with advance notice. The festival catalog is available in Braille from the JCC box office. If you require an accessibility accommodation, please contact the specific venue presenting the event you would like to attend.

The festival recommends that you contact venues directly by March 18 with your accessibility requests so that you are able to get the services for your showtime.

A day long summit April 3 will be at the JCC for those who are aspiring or currently filmmakers, media makers, or game developers that are deaf or disabled.  Would you like media mentors and employers who will be available for speed interviews, resume review and flash mentoring? Then this day long event is for you and has registration open till March 16.

Comedy at the Gotham Comedy Club will be showing on April 3. The Writers Guild is partnering with the festival to present a Writing Disability Panel on April 6. A music concert with the Autism patron in mind will be April 7.

To view a full lineup of screenings and events go the the festival's website

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