Celebrate the achievements of people living with a disability at ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival around Houston from Tuesday, February 12 through Thursday, February 21, 2019.
Returning for its seventh year, the ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival hits the silver screen this month for another free, citywide event that promotes inclusion through visual arts, films, speakers, and music.
For ten days, the ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival showcases and leverages the unique contributions of people who live with disabilities in an effort to foster inclusion, erase stigmas, change perceptions, and create pathways to employment across Houston.
Film, Festivities & More
The ten-day ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival features a packed schedule that includes a Celebration Company visual art exhibit, thirteen feature and documentary films, the UP Abilities speakers event, ReelMusic Concert, and educational programs at schools and workplaces across the city.
ReelPeople: UP Abilities
The ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival gets started with a special evening celebration that showcases three extraordinary speakers who live with disabilities:
- Jen Bricker – An accomplished gymnast and aerial performer born without legs.
- Erik Weihenmayer – The first person who is blind to successfully climb Mount Everest and complete the Seven Summits.
- Amanda Boxtel – Paralyzed from the waist down, she helps improve human mobility with exoskeletons and bionic technology.
Speakers will address the opening reception at A.D. Players at the George Theater on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, from 6:15pm to 9pm.
The ReelArt gallery exhibit highlights the work of more than twenty Celebration Company artists who live with varying cognitive disabilities.
Visiting artist Ezra Roy, a nationally recognized mixed-media artist who has Down syndrome, also presents his works as part of an opening reception on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 6pm to 8pm.
The exhibit will remain on display through April 19, 2019 at the Center for Art and Photography at Celebration Company.
ReelAbilities Film Festival
Thirteen Houston-curated films (full length and shorts) will be shown over the course of four days at Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24, covering themes that are equal parts compelling, eye-opening, entertaining, and even mystifying.
All films are captioned and audio described to be fully accessible. Several of the films will also include a post-screening interactive panel discussion. Film highlights include:
- Far from the Tree | Sunday, February 17 – Based on Andrew Solomon’s New York Times best-selling book, this award-winning documentary examines the experiences of families where parents and children are profoundly different from one another in a variety of ways.
- Mind/Game | Monday, February 18 – This documentary examines WNBA superstar Chamique Holdsclaw and her delicate balance of professional sport and struggles with mental illness.
- Short Film Matinees | Monday, February 18 and Tuesday, February 19 – Ranging from five minutes to a half hour, these short films explore individuals with disabilities as they struggle, overcome, and connect with those around them.
- The Rider | Wednesday, February 20 – Based on his own true story, Brady Jandreau was a rising bronco riding star until he suffered a traumatic head injury after a riding accident. This award-winning film follows Brady as he seeks to control his own fate.
Admission and parking are free to attendees. Films are screened from Sunday, February 17 through Wednesday, February 20, 2019.
The final night of ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival draws to a close with ReelMusic, a free and all-inclusive night of jazz, rock, and more.
Thanks to a collaboration between the professional house band and artists living with disabilities, this event provides a chance for many musicians to showcase their talents in a premier venue.
This free evening of music takes place Thursday, February 21 at White Oak Music Hall from 7 to 9:30pm.
ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival
- Dates: Tuesday, February 12 through Thursday, February 21, 2019
- Times: Vary by event. Click here for a full schedule of programming.
- Location: Vary by event. Click here for a full schedule of programming.
- Admission: Tickets are $18 for the ReelPeople: UP Abilities event. Free admission for all other events. Click here for a full schedule of programming and to purchase tickets.
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