Witness the lives & stories of people with disabilities at ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival

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.

Far from the Tree | Photo courtesy of ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival

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.

Click here for a full schedule of programming.

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.

Photo courtesy of ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival


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.

Click here for a full schedule of programming.

“Winter” by Ezra Roy | Photo courtesy of ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival

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.

Click here for a full schedule of programming.

Chamique Holdsclaw | Photo courtesy of ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival


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.

Click here for a full schedule of programming.

ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival

This article was sponsored by ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival. Per our advertising and sponsorship policy, we only accept sponsored content from organizations that meet our editorial standards and truly present a valuable activity, event, resource or destination for residents and visitors across the greater Houston area. Advertising revenue helps support 365 Things to Do in Houston, and our contributors, allowing us to expand our coverage of activities and events around the Houston area. Click here to learn about promoting your event or business.


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