Celebrate the achievements of people living with disabilities at the free ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival, happening virtually through Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
Now in its ninth year, the annual film festival has gone all virtual for 2021, with all films streaming online for free with registration. For more than a week, 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.
In normal years, the film festival is usually accompanied by complimentary live events, celebrating the work of people with disabilities in music, art, and in the workplace. For 2021, there will be virtual versions of the popular ReelMusic, UP Abilities, and RealWorkplace space events.
While there will be no specific virtual event for ReelArt, festival organizers plan to integrate the festival’s art component throughout the 2021 festival and encourage viewers to learn more about the artists and maybe purchase their pieces online.
Films are currently available to stream online for free with registration. If attending virtual events, viewers are encouraged to watch the films online first.
Two films, Rising Phoenix and Speed Cubers, are only available to view on Netflix. If you do not have a Netflix subscription, please send an email to [email protected] for a temporary pass to view the films.
ReelAbilities 2021 Pre-Festival Events
- ReelWorkplace | Thursday, February 11, 2021 | Virtual – Designed for human resources and finance professionals, ReelWorkplace is a panel discussion about true diversity and inclusion tactics that maximize return in human capital, with a particular focus on employees with disabilities. $20. Noon to 1:30pm.
- ReelPeople: UP Abilities | Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | Virtual – Presented along with The UP Experience, the presentation features two speakers, Ali Stroker and Dan Habib, who share their experiences and insights into the world of disabilities with both intimacy and urgency. $10. 7pm to 8:30pm.
ReelAbilities 2021 Virtual Event Schedule
- World Premiere: One Step at a Time | Saturday, February 20, 2021 | FREE | Virtual – Catch the world premiere of a documentary film focused on Houstonian Michael McCulloch, a retired NASA engineer and blind athlete. 7:30pm to 9pm.
- ReelFilm Opening Night: Rising Phoenix | Sunday, February 21, 2021 | FREE | Virtual – Officially kicking off the festival will be a discussion around the award-winning film Rising Phoenix, which features elite athletes and insiders of the Paralympic Games. It explores how the event impacts a global understanding of disability, diversity, and excellence. 7pm to 8pm.
- Movie Club Night | Monday, February 22, 2021 | FREE | Virtual – Choose one of six live virtual panels discussing standout films from the series; The Rider, The Unconditional, 25 Prospect Street and The Sock Guys, Code of the Freaks, Feeling Through, and Speed Cubers. 7pm to 8pm.
- Mental Health Night: Angst | Tuesday, February 23, 2021 | FREE | Virtual – Tune in for a discussion of the film, Angst, which features candid interviews with kids and young adults living with anxiety. The film explores what they’ve learned about it and encourages conversation about anxiety. 7pm to 8pm.
- ReelMusic | Wednesday, February 21, 2021 | FREE | Virtual – Tune in for a night of jazz, rock, and more, featuring accomplished singers and songwriters living with disabilities who channel the universal power of music to lift people up. 7pm to 8pm.
ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival 2021
- Dates: The festival runs from Tuesday, February 16 through Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Films can be streamed at any time from Monday, February 8 through Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Click here
- Times: Vary by event. Click here for a full schedule of programming.
- Location: Vary by event. Click here for a full schedule of programming.
- Watch: Tickets are $10 for the virtual ReelPeople: UP Abilities event, $20 for the virtual ReelWorkplace event. All other film streaming and virtual livestream events are free. Get a full schedule of programming or register for events.
This article was sponsored by the event organizer. 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. Learn more about promoting your event or business.