For the past four years, the ReelAbilities Film Festival has brought films promoting awareness of the lives of people with disabilities to audiences in New York City. This year, for the first time, those films become accessible to a much wider audience as the fest travels to a number of other cities.
In Philly, ReelAbilities arrives under the auspices of the Jewish Family and Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia. The weeklong festival aims to raise awareness and revenue for JFCS' Center for Special Needs.
"It's one way to maintain programs and initiatives," says Sherrie Eisman, the center's director of collaboration and partnership, "but also a very important way for us to talk about what it's like to live, work and go to school in this community with disabilities."
The films chosen for the Philly stop cover a range of topics, from autism to blindness. A discussion with filmmakers or experts will follow each screening. In conjunction with the festival, MossRehab will present a juried art exhibition by professional artists with physical disabilities.
"All of these films were made from the heart and with the right intentions," Eisman adds. "We're hoping to reach those that don't have disabilities, because they're the people we need to educate."
If you go
ReelAbilities: Philadelphia Disabilities Film Festival