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ReelAbilities Film Festival: October 30 through November 5th at Montclair State University and JCC Metrowest

Posted in: College News and Events, Communication Sciences Disorders

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ReelAbilities is the largest disability film festival in the country and will be hosted from October 30 through November 5th at Montclair State University and at JCC Metrowest in West Orange. The Festival is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of and about people with different abilities. Post screening speakers, presentations and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. For close to a decade, each spring, the JCC Manhattan selects finalists from hundreds of films submitted internationally and premieres with a festival week in Manhattan, followed by city venues across the country throughout the year coordinated through LADD in Cincinnati.

Join us as we feature cutting edge and sometimes controversial films that challenge assumptions and promote discussion about ability and disability!

In addition to national sponsors, our major local sponsor is the Kessler Foundation with additional support from AXA, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Easter Seals New Jersey, NewJersey Chapter of Alexander Graham Bell, NJ Division of  the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, as well as the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of the Arts.

The schedule at Montclair State University is:

November 1 – 8:00pm
The Finishers – a 17 year old with CP urges his father to compete with him in the IronMan Triathlon and short film  Bumblebees about the challenges of dating for a teen with a disability. Speakers from Achilles and from Easter Seals will lead post film discussion followed by a reception.

November 2 -6:30 pm
Marguerita with a Straw – a funky coming of age tale of Laila, a Pujabi teen, aspiring writer and wheelchair rebel who leaves India to attend NYU. Bold and brave portrait of live, identity and sexuality (18+ adult content, language and images). Post film guest is actress Ali Stroker from Glee and Spring Awakening and the first actress who is a wheelchair user to have a Broadway role. Followed by reception.

November 3 – 7:45 pm
No Ordinary Hero: The Superdeafy Movie – a deaf actor who plays a superhero on television influences a deaf boy to redefine what “being normal” means.  Post film presentation by the group Silent NOMORE, individuals who share experiences of growing up with a hearing loss, accompanies by Kathy Buckley, comedienne with a hearing loss. Meet and greet the cast reception.

Contact: Fran Prezant at 973-655-7124.
ASL and real time captioning at all MSU screenings.
For full festival brochure, ticketing and other information for MSU at: or

The schedule  at JCC Metrowest is:

October 30 –  5:00 pm
Shooting Beauty and On Beauty ( double feature)
Shooting Beauty tells story of fashion photographer whose career takes a sudden turn when she discovers a hidden world of beauty at a center for people living with significant disabilities…and On Beauty Photographer Rick Guidotti left the fashion world along with its restrictive parameters on the industry’s standard of beauty and refocused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows. Followed by complimentary photo shoot.

November 3 – 7:00 pm
Twice Exceptional – Documentary following the personal journeys of a group of students who have been identified as twice exceptional

November 5 – 7:30 pm
A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt – Docudrama tells the story of blind factor owner Otto Weidt. Award winning journalist provides incredible personal account of Weidt’s efforts to save her and her mother and the rest of his employees from the Nazis

For further information and ticketing for JCC contact Carol Berman at
973-530-3421, or visit: