Movie festival focuses on persons with disabilities

The ReelAbilities Film Festival screens for the second time in Cincinnati, with more than 17 screenings taking place throughout the city from March 9-16.

The largest national film festival dedicated to sharing the stories, lives and art of persons with disabilities, Cincinnati producing partners are Visionaries + Voices (V+V) and Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD).

The opening night benefit features “Shameless: The Art of Disability” on March 9 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

The evening will include a keynote address by David Roche, one of the film’s stars, as well as dinner and an after-party.

Stars and directors of festival films will attend, including local Paralympian April Kerley; Brent Renaud, co-director of “Warrior Champions: from Baghdad to Beijing”; and Larry Bissonette, star of “Wretches and Jabberers.”

Tickets for the premiere night are $150. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. After-party tickets are $25.

Closing night on March 16 features a free screening of “Outsider: The Life and Art of Judith Scott” with a post-film panel discussion at Contemporary Arts Center. Advance reservations required.

Panelists include Tom di Maria, director of the Creative Growth Gallery in Oakland, Calif., and Matthew Higgs, director and chief curator of White Columns in New York.

Moderator is Flavia Bastos, Ph.D, director of graduate studies in the art education program at University of Cincinnati.

A complete schedule of screenings and tickets are available at www.cincyra.org. Most screening tickets are $10.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit several nonprofit agencies in the area serving persons with disabilities, including The Autism Society, Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati, Paralyzed Veterans Racing, Greater Cincinnati Down Syndrome Association and Hamilton County Developmental Disability Services.

Source: Cincinnati