Save the Dates: 2018 ReelAbilities film festivals

Some of the dates for ReelAbilities film festivals in 2018 have been set. Check out each city’s page for more information about the films and venues there.

New York: March 8-14
Northern VA: March 10-18
Salt Lake City, UT: March 18-21
Boston, MA: March 21-29
Toronto, Canada: May 30- June 4
(there’s also a panel discussion about Disability Coverage in the Media on February 5)

Australia’s “Focus on Ability” Short Film Festival

Australia’s “Focus on Ability” Short Film Festival will be holding a couple of screenings in New York City, showcasing short films about disability. Information about where to find them in Bronx and Brooklyn below. You’ll also find out how to enter next year’s film festival to win cash prizes or a trip to Australia!


Hosted by Independence Care Systems.


October 5, 2017, at 5:30 p.m.


ICS Brooklyn Member Center
25 Elm Place, 5th floor
Brooklyn N.Y. 11201
between Livingston Street and Fulton Mall


Please RSVP by Monday, October 2. Call 877.958.8427 or email


Hosted by Bronx Independent Living Center.


October 6, 2017, at 3-5 p.m.


Bronx Library Center
310 East Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10458
(Library is situated just off Fordham Rd, and several blocks
away from Grand Concourse)


RSVP by: Tuesday, October 3rd 2017
Dominga Torres
Phone: (718) 515-2800 Extension 118

2017 Neuro Film Festival winners

The American Academy of Neurology’s contest for neurology-related films has produced a crop of winning short films on YouTube. You can view the playlist at:

Disorder: The Rare Disease Film Festival announces call for submissions

The inaugural Disorder film festival is seeking films about the challenges of living with a rare disease, with the aim of increasing awareness among the general public and medical researchers. The two founders of both parents of children with rare diseases who met at an advocacy conference and realized that they had both made films about their family’s experiences. They were disappointed to discover that there were no film festivals dedicated to rare diseases, so they started their own. The festival is set to take place on October 3rd in Boston, Massachusetts. More information on Disorder and how to submit films is available on their website:

The 11th Annual Sprout Film Festival 2013

Sprout Film Festival 2013
The Eleventh Annual
Sprout Film Festival
making the invisible visible
Friday May 31 – Sunday June 2, 2013
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education
Fifth Avenue & 81st Street New York, NY

A showcase of films featuring people
with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Brazil’s 6th Annual Intl’ Disability Film Festival

Assim vivemos

Inscrições abertas para o Assim Vivemos 2013!

Call for Entries Brazil’s Intl’ Disability Film Festival! Click above.
Assim vivemos
Inscrições abertas para o Assim Vivemos 2013!

Regulamento e ficha de inscrição em
Call for Entries Brazil’s Intl’ Disability Film Festival!

Regulation and Entry Form at

Com uma programação de filmes que ultrapassam barreiras, desmontam preconceitos, fazem pensar e divertem, dando novas perspectivas à questão da deficiência, o Festival Assim Vivemos tem se constituído na maior celebração da inclusão cultural do Brasil.

Nele, as pessoas com deficiência são as protagonistas, tanto nos filmes quanto no público. Para que isso se tornasse realidade, desde sua primeira edição, o Assim Vivemos traz todas as acessibilidades (audiodescrição, catálogos em Braille, legendas Closed Caption, interpretação em LIBRAS nos debates e salas de cinema acessíveis a cadeirantes

Behind the scenes at TCM’s A History of Disability in Film festival

from Atlanta Magazine:
Behind the scenes at TCM’s A History of Disability in Film festival
Posted By: Richard Eldredge · 10/23/2012 8:44:00 AM

It’s not even 11 a.m. on the set of Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz’s living room in Midtown Atlanta and already Lawrence Carter-Long has the movie buff, along with director Sean Cameron and the crew completely charmed. Carter-Long, the public affairs specialist for the National Council on Disability, has flown in from Washington D.C. to co-host TCM’s month-long film festival “The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film.” Carter-Long curated the 21 films in the series and they range from 1946’s post-World War II drama “The Best Years of Our Lives” to Jack Nicholson’s Oscar-winning performance in 1975’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” as a psychiatric patient who rebels against the institution’s dire conditions. Nattily attired in a gray formal jacket, Carter-Long is artfully making a case for tonight’s airing of “Charly,” the now-dusty 1968 drama that won Cliff Robertson an Oscar playing an intellectually disabled man who undergoes experimental (and highly questionable by today’s standards) surgery to raise his IQ.

“By programming a month’s worth of these films, TCM is recognizing the population itself, that one in five Americans has a disability in some way, shape or form,” explains Carter-Long. “It recognizes that demographic out there. These films have a lineage. Each one informs the next and they evolve and change as the times change. By putting these films into a festival like this over the course of a month, viewers can pick and choose what they want to see and perhaps place them in a new context. It might be a favorite like ‘An Affair to Remember’ but they maybe never thought about the film from the disability perspective. By grouping them together, they have a different resonance than if they were standing alone.”

For his “Projected Image” co-hosting debut, Mankiewicz clearly did his homework, poring over 2,000 pages of research and reviewing many of the films in the line up. “Re-watching these films and putting them in this context, it completely changes how you look at them,” says Mankiewicz. “The viewer has an opportunity to think about each of these films in a fresh way and that’s the exciting part of what this festival does. It’s interesting to see the progression/lack of progression as we go through the films chronologically, too.”

In 1968 when “Charly” was made, “the r-word” (read: retarded) was still being liberally tossed around to describe the title character. And while it’s cringe-worthy to contemplate in 2012, Carter-Long says that pulling the film out of its 1968 time capsule and blowing the dust off of it is important. “Showing what was happening culturally and what was happening in society is one of the most crucial things we can do with this festival,” Carter-Long says. “Show what was happening at that time and to try and explain why it was happening and put it into context. And also, let’s discuss the evolution since and whether there’s been an evolution or not.”

The festival concludes next week with a late-night presentation of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and earlier in the evening, an airing of director Tod Browning’s still-controversial 1932 film “Freaks,” a film that first gained fame on the midnight movie circuit. “Regrettably, I was only introduced to it only after I began working at TCM,” says Mankiewicz. “I didn’t fully appreciate it. I didn’t totally believe it. I remember thinking, ‘This must be some trick photography. Bravo, Tod Browning in 1932. That guy looks like he doesn’t have any arms or legs.’ I mean, that can’t be for real, right? Basically, I was a fool.”

Explains Carter-Long: “The importance of showing ‘Freaks’ in 2012 is that it takes those conventions of who we’re supposed to identify with and where our sympathies lie and turns everything upside down. Our sympathies aren’t with the buxom blond non-disabled woman. From the beginning, your sympathies are with the freaks themselves. That’s the impact of the film. The audience is rooting for characters who look like what is traditionally the villain in a film. It challenges you to reconsider the outsider.”

“The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film” airs each Tuesday beginning at 8 p.m. on TCM throughout October. For a complete line-up, go to TCM’s website.

Maine Deaf Film Festival expands to 4 days in Portland

from The Forecaster:
Maine Deaf Film Festival expands to 4 days in Portland

Apr 03, 2012 9:50 am

10th annual Maine Deaf Film Festival

PORTLAND — The 10th annual Maine Deaf Film Festival seeks to educate audience members about what it is like to be deaf.

The annual student-run festival, April 11-14 at the University of Southern Maine, showcases homegrown and international films created, produced and performed by members of the deaf community. With the festival, the American Sign Language Club at USM hopes to educate people about deaf culture, issues and art.

“We offer a full roster of films and the movies that we tend to screen are authentic from a deaf perspective, not just a Hollywood film portraying an outsider or poor, deaf people,” said Esther Lee-Samia, an administrative assistant in the university’s Linguistics Department. “The films are produced, executed and performed by deaf people, and present issues from their perspective.”

This year is the first time that the event will stretch over four days. On Wednesday, selected local and international films will be screened in Payson Smith Hall, Room 303, from 7-9:30 p.m. Thursday’s showings will take attendees back in time with a retrospective of films from past years. The retrospective program costs $5 for the general public. All events are free to USM students with their ID cards.

Friday night’s screening presents “The Hammer,” a coming-of-age drama about Matt Hamill, a UFC fighter, who became the first deaf wrestler to win a national collegiate championship. The film will be shown from at 7:30 p.m. in Talbot Auditorium in Luther Bonney Hall. Admission is $10.

Saturday is packed with family-friendly selections covering topics ranging from navigating the health-care world to deaf teen Aneta Brodski’s journey into the spoken-word slam scene. General admission for Saturday showings is $8 for a half day or $14 for the full day. In addition to the film screenings, guest speakers including some of the films directors and talent, will address attendees.

According to Lee-Samia, in the past around 200 people have taken in the films. But with the festival expanding to four days this year, she hopes that attendance will jump to between 400 and 500.

“We have a very loyal following,” she said. “And we just keep growing.”
Amber Cronin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 115 or Follow Amber on Twitter: @croninamber.

WAM Film Festival Puts New Lens on Disability

Starting Thursday, Vancouver will play host to the first film festival in the province to feature films made people who have a disability.

Presented by Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture, the Wide Angle Media (WAM) Festival will screen international and local films from two to 50 minutes in length.

The films, which include dramas, documentaries and animation, have varied themes and do not necessarily deal with issues of disability. Yet some of them, like all good art, manage to do both. Take for instance, the film debut by inspirational humourist David Roche.

David is one of five Canadian filmmakers awarded a sponsorship package from WAM to produce a commissioned short for the festival.

Called Beauty School, the short comedy film is set in a beauty salon where an esthetician, played by David, encounters two women, one of whom thinks she needs a face transplant. Beauty School has a “reasonably happy ending,” says David, who hopes viewers will come away laughing and encouraged from his first-ever screenplay and fictional acting performance.

The film’s underlying message is that beauty comes from within — something David says he’s learned in the 20 years he’s been on stage talking about his facial disfigurement using humour from the heart. He’s come to realize that everyone feels disfigured in some way and if it’s not dealt with, emotional and spiritual maturity cannot be realized. This place of fear and doubt also leaves one vulnerable to bullies and predators.

The film, for which he was encouraged and mentored by fellow WAM Festival filmmaker Jan Derbyshire and others, is another step in David’s intensely personal artistic journey.
“I feel this is an opportunity to put out what I’ve learned,”says David, adding it’s “way past the time” for people who have a disability to do this.

“We have something to bring, we have something to teach.”

Beauty School, along with the other four commissioned shorts, will be shown in two screenings at the March 22-25 festival, along with nightly showings of films.

To learn more about WAM, click here.

Fourth annual Reelabilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival will be Feb. 9-14 2012

From Reelabilities:

Over 20 venues, across eight counties, will present the 4th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival, from February 9th through February 14th, 2012.

Presented by various arts, culture, educational and community venues, such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY Public Library branches, Museum of the Moving Image, The Jacob Burns Film Center, and more, the festival will showcase narrative, documentary and short films from across the globe, many in their U.S. or NY premieres, all followed by intimate conversations and in-depth discussions with filmmakers and special guests.

In addition to the selection of ground-breaking international films; live music, dance performances, art exhibitions and other special events are major components of the ReelAbilities experience. The festival partners with over 50 community, arts, government, disability, and educational organizations making it the only film festival to bring stories of disabilities to such a wide-reaching audience. Through film, ReelAbilities brings together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.

Festival Co-Director Isaac Zablocki says, “We use film to promote awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. The films we screen not only entertain, but enlighten and capture experiences that are often shied away from.”

Initiated in NY in 2007, the festival recently launched its national presence in partnership with the Saul Schotenstein Foundation B. Premiering in Cincinnati, OH, and Atlanta, GA, earlier this year, the national festival is scheduled to be presented in Boston, MA and Greater DC area this coming February 2012, followed by additional festivals in Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Richmond, Fairfax, Baltimore, Columbus, and Rockville. The recently introduced new festival website, , featurs a new homepage that allows festival goers to explore the diversity of programs offered in their communities.

The upcoming edition of the NY festival will open on Thursday, February 9th, with OCEAN HEAVEN (Xiao Lu Xue, China, 2010, 96 min, Narrative) starring Jet Li in his first dramatic role, telling the moving story of a father’s tireless love for his autistic son and his attempt to teach his son the life skills necessary to surviving on his own.

The festival’s closing night event will feature a screening of Academy Award Nominee Susan Seidelman’s (Desperately Seeking Susan, She Devil, and more) recent dance romance MUSICAL CHAIRS (USA, 2011, 100 min, Narrative), followed by a closing night reception and dance party.
The film follows two New Yorkers, Armando from the Bronx, and Mia from the East Side, and their love of ballroom dancing. A tragic accident changes Mia’s life. True to his heart, Armando dedicates himself, along with a group of colorful misfits, to help Mia deal with her challenges and dance once more.
Other films to be featured in the festival:

Jim Gloster, USA, 2010, 40 min, Narrative
Aphasia tells the true story of actor Carl McIntyre about the effects of a massive stroke he suffered at the age of 44 – he lost his ability to read, write and speak. Starring as himself, McIntyre portrays his life story with an incredibly nuanced performance. Through humor and pathos Aphasia speaks to anyone who has struggled to meet life’s challenges.

Matthieu Bron, France / Mozambique, 2011, 54 min, Documentary
The amazing story of three young Mozambicans with physical disabilities, who work to help others in their community. Their daily lives reveal how they see themselves, raising questions on self-acceptance and how to find one’s place in

Alexis Ostrander, USA, 2011, 78 min, Documentary
The vibrant lives of five women with disabilities on their journey to the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant, where the concept of beauty is defined through the lens of advocacy & perseverance.

Justin Lerner, USA, 2011, 94 min, Narrative
Evan, a young man with Down Syndrome, lives with his mother in a working-class town hit hard by the recent economic recession. When he unexpectedly comes into a large amount of money, Evan uses it to romantically pursue Candy, a girl he has loved since high school.

MABUL (The Flood)
Guy Nattiv, Israel, 2011, 100 min, Narrative
A coming-of-age drama about a family that struggles to keep up appearances while hiding their sins from one another. When the eldest son, who has autism, returns from an institution, the pressure builds and secrets begin to emerge.

Morteza Farshbaf, Iran, 2011, 85 minutes, Narrative
A cinematic road trip follows a deaf couple and their young nephew on their way to Tehran. Before they get there, the couple must break the bad news to the boy that his parents were killed in an accident but the journey proves to be more complex than they had expected.

PRINCESS (Prinsessa)
Arto Halonen, Finland, 2010, 104 min, Narrative
Based on real-life events, the amazing and musical story of Anna Lappalainen who spent 50 years of her life as a patient at a psychiatric hospital, where her lovable personality healed and brought joy to those around her and where she claimed to be a princess.

A selection of award-winning films from around the globe.
Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil, 2010, 17 min, Narrative
A 15 year-old blind teenager and his best friend face issues of jealousy and other new feelings when they befriend a new kid in their class.
Rudi Rosenberg, France, 2010, 20 min, Narrative
Benoit looses a schoolyard bet and must invite Aglaee, a girl with CP, to go out with him.
10:4 (TEN TO FOUR)
Guy Natanel, UK, 2010, 5 min, Documentary
Blindness through the textures, colors, and sounds of the mundane. Can the sighted fully comprehend what it means to be blind?
Julie Engaas, Norway, 2008, 7min, Documentary
Enter a world where sound gives shape to space.
Emma Buckley, Australia, 2009Australia, 7 min, Narrative
Two boys face off. But when the stakes are at their highest will victory be sweet?

RUN IF YOU CAN (Renn Wenn du Kannst)
Dietrich Bruggemann, Germany, 2010, 112 min, Narrative
A gripping story of friendship and a love triangle between frustrated Ben, who is bound to a wheelchair, his playful caretaker, Christian, and Annika the dreamer, musician and object of both men’s desire. When the relationships heat up, Annika cannot decide between the two men. Together they create an adventure filled with imagination and desire. But what starts out as a game soon becomes serious when Ben faces his biggest fear.

Régis Wargnier, France, 2011, 98min, Narrative
The story of Yannick, a blind runner, and Leila, a recently released convict. Their relationship develops on and off the racetrack but the couple’s love is met by adversity and family relations create obstacles.

Tickets for the 4th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival go on sale January 9th, 2012.
Full information about the festival, locations, films, special events, and guests is available at

2010 Superfest International Disability Film Festival

Superfest: International Disability Film FestivalThe 2010 Superfest International Disability Film Festival  is scheduled to take place on June 4 & 5 at the Gaia Arts Center in Berkeley, California. The screenings are scheduled to take place from 11-5 p.m. on Friday, June 4, and from 12-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 5. The reception and award ceremony will take place following the screening on June 5 from 6-9 p.m. We hope to see you there!