ReelAbilities Film Festival Shines a Light

The ReelAbilities Film Festival is back at the Boulder JCC on Sunday, December 3. from 12 – 4 pm. The program includes several short films, documentaries on mental illness, and opportunities to meet with disability advocates and organizations in our community.

On the heels of a successful Jewish Film Festival, patrons may wonder why we need a film festival focused on disabilities. A film festival featuring works by people with disabilities is crucial for fostering inclusivity and dismantling societal stereotypes. It provides a platform for individuals often marginalized in mainstream media to showcase their unique perspectives, talents, and narratives. 

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 people living in Colorado have a disability,” said Joy Alice Eisenhauer, Arts, Culture and Education Director of the Boulder JCC. “That is not an insignificant number. Films have the potential to expand our understanding and empathy.”

ReelAbilities is an international film festival dedicated to promoting and celebrating the authentic stories and creative expressions of people with disabilities, both in front of and behind the camera. Founded in New York in 2007, the festival presents award-winning films by and about people with disabilities in multiple locations throughout each hosting city. Post-screening discussions and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.

 This festival empowers filmmakers with disabilities  to share their stories authentically, contributing to a more diverse and representative cultural landscape. Additional exposure to these films educates audiences, promoting awareness and appreciation for the rich diversity of human experiences. Ultimately, a film festival celebrating works by people with disabilities becomes a catalyst for social change, promoting equality and dismantling barriers within the film industry.

“As part of this amazing event, the audience will engage with experiences of individuals with a variety of disabilities,” said Erica Baruch, Jewish Disabilities Advocates Advisor for Jewish Family Service. 

One talented person presenting two films at the ReelAbilities event is Scott Klumb, a Denver-based award winning director, producer, and storyteller. In addition to sharing two films, Scott will be participating in a talkback to discuss his films and his life experiences being a filmmaker with autism. 

All Boulder JCC programs are open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation.  You do not need to be Jewish to participate. There is no membership requirement to participate in Boulder JCC programs.  

Advance registration is always encouraged for programs at the Boulder JCC. It allows us to know how many chairs to put out and how much food to order. For registration support call Reception at (303)998-1900 or contact Acy Jackson acy.jackson@boulderjcc.org

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