Houston Reelabilities Film Festival 2017

Arts and Entertainment

January 5, 2017

From: Houston Reelabilities Film Festival

ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival returns to Houston in its fifth year February 16 - March 6 with a speaker series, an award-winning film festival, live music jam session, art exhibit, educational tours to local schools and seminars at offices around Houston, and more, all with the intention to use the arts as a vehicle to educate the community and change perceptions about individuals with varying levels of abilities, all at no cost to participants and attendees.

Schedule of Events:

February 14, 2017

Theatre District The Houston Ballet: Houstonians are invited to a special one-hour screening of the ReelAbilities short films on Valentine's Day at The Houston Ballet located downtown. The screening will begin at 6:00pm and is free to the public. Guests are invited to join us for a showing of the short films Perfect (12 minutes), I Don't Care (14 minutes), Birthday (16 minutes), and Bumblebees (4 minutes). Each attendee will walk away with a special giveaway from ReelAbilities thanking them for their presence. Street parking is free after 6:00pm.

Location: Houston Ballet

February 16, 2017

ReelPeople: UPAbilities: This event, a partnership with The UP Experience, is the official kickoff of the festival, and opens the festival on February 16 at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music with presentations from extraordinary thought leaders on mental and physical disabilities and topics of inclusion. After the speakers' presentations, attendees can attend smaller Q&A sessions with the speaker of their choice. The event is in partnership with the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities and the nonPareil Institute. The reception is sponsored by IberiaBank.

This year's speakers include:

Henry Evans

Henry Evans at age 40 became quadriplegic and mute after a stroke-like attack caused by a hidden birth defect. He is a frequent and enthusiastic collaborator with robotics teams such as Robots for Humanity who are developing tools to help the severely disabled navigate their lives and the world. Years of therapy helped him learn to move his head and to use his finger allowing him to use a head-tracking device to communicate with a computer using experimental interfaces. He currently collaborates with Georgia Tech on using the Willow Garage PR2 robot as a surrogate, as well as RLAB at Brown on quadrotors for expanding range of motion.

Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal is a world-renowned game designer, and an expert on the engagement economy and the application of game-design to the real world. She serves as the Director of Game Research & Development with the Institute for The Future in Palo Alto, California. Jane's book, SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient debuted at #7 on the New York Times Advice bestsellers list, reveals a decade's worth of scientific research into the ways all games change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. She shares stories and data from players who have followed the SuperBetter rules to get stronger, happier, and braver in the face of depression, anxiety, illness, and injury.

Elise Roy

Elise Roy is a deaf lawyer, artist, artisan, and human rights advocate who works in the vanguard of the social design movement, which holds that designers have the capacity and responsibility to address and resolve human problems on micro and macro scales and thereby contribute to social well-being. Deaf from the age of ten, Elise has been a design thinker from early on, constantly adapting her environment and its tools to serve her extraordinary abilities. At Brown University, Elise was recognized as one of the nation's elite soccer goalkeepers and she began to see herself as an advocate for people with nonnormative abilities. When Elise was in law school, she began working on the International Disability Rights Treaty at the United Nations, the first such human rights treaty to be passed in the 21st century, and she traveled the world to see it put into action.

Location: Rice University Shepherd School of Music

February 19, 2017

7:00 PM: Enter the Faun

Opening night in partnership with The Houston Ballet

The unlikely collaboration between a veteran choreographer and a young actor with cerebral palsy delivers astonishing proof that each and every body is capable of miraculous transformation. As Tamar Rogoff trains Gregg Mozgala to dance in her performance, they discover that her lack of formal medical training and his fears and physical limitations are the impetus for her choreography and their unprecedented discoveries. Enter The Faun is the story of a joyous, obsessed journey toward opening night. It challenges the boundaries of medicine and art, as well as the limitations associated with disability.

Director: Tamar Rogoff and Daisy Wright, Documentary, 67 min, USA, English

February 20, 2017

Hear This! - (Short matinee film begins at 1:00 PM)

When 10-year-old Tristan wants his dad to become the trainer of his soccer team, the club won't allow it because his father is deaf. Tristan decides to prove them wrong.

Director: Soulaima El Khaldi, Documentary, 15 min.

Strings (Cuerdas) - (Short matinee film begins at 1:00 PM)

María's routine at school is altered by the arrival of a child who soon becomes her best friend.

Director: Pedro Solis Garcia, Animated/Narrative, 11 min, Spain, Spanish, Family Friend

Little Hero - (Short matinee film begins at 1:00 PM)

A 6-year-old boy with autism is seen through his twin sister's eyes.

Director: Marcus A. McDougald & Jennifer Medvin, Documentary, 10 min, USA, English, Family Friendly

Chimes for Tyler - (Short matinee film begins at 1:00 PM)

A boy with autism can distinguish wind chimes by sound.

Director: Stephen Panaggio, Documentary, 8min, USA, English, Family Friendl

Patrick's Day - (Evening film begins at 7:00 PM) Mental Health Night in partnership with the Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Department

Patrick is a warm young man living with schizophrenia. Medication and his mother's fierce protection means he is no threat to himself or anyone else until St. Patrick's Day, when he meets Karen, a suicidal flight attendant. This raw and audacious love story provocatively explores issues ranging from the right to intimacy to the question of when parental love becomes a destructive force.

Director: Terry McMahon, Narrative, 98 min, Ireland, English, Adult Content

February 21, 2017

Margarita with a Straw - (Matinee film begins at 4:00 PM)

A funky, stereotype-busting coming-of-age tale based on the true story of a Punjabi teenage girl with cerebral palsy. Laila, an aspiring writer and secret rebel in a wheelchair, is accepted to New York University and leaves India for Manhattan. After a chance encounter with a fiery female activist, Laila starts to grow emotionally and explore this new world and its liberal sexualities. Tackling subject matter rarely explored with lightheartedness, this TIFF award-winning drama is a beautiful, bold, and brave portrait of love, identity, and sexuality. Margarita, with a Straw is joyous cinema bound to win your heart.

Director: Shonali Bose & Nilesh Maniyar, Narrative, 97 min, India, English and Hindi, Adult Content

Stilts & Spoke - (Evening film begins at 7:00 PM)

A heartfelt, entertaining, and comedic documentary. After Jay Cramer falls off a boulder and breaks his neck, he rebounds from injury which has left him quadriplegic to win the Los Angeles Funniest Comic competition. While in rehab, he meets a world class double above-the-knee amputee sprinter, Katy Sullivan, and falls head over heels for her. They fall in love and go on to inspire millions.

Director: Jack Winch, Documentary, 91 min, USA, English

February 22, 2017

Gabe - (Matinee film begins at 4:00 PM)

Gabe Weil is a 27-year-old who was born with the most severe form of muscular dystrophy. For his entire life, Gabe had been told he would be lucky to live past 25. But recently, he learned he was misdiagnosed, and might live well into his 50s. Although this news was overwhelmingly positive, it presented a surprising obstacle: Gabe did not have any long-term goals. He was forced to rethink his life from scratch. This radical shift in consciousness propelled him to set new goals, continue facing reality, and manifest more dreams.

Director: Luke Terrell, Documentary, 72 min, USA, USA, English

Do You Dream in Color? - (Evening film begins at 7:00 PM) Partnership with Novum Energy Services The poignant coming-of-age story of Connor, Nick, Sarah, and Carina, who navigate the growing pains of high school, but, unlike most teens, face another challenge they are blind. Do You Dream in Color? captures their journeys as they strive to achieve their goals: to be a sponsored skateboarder, to travel the world, to become a rock star, and to be the first in one's family to graduate high school. Through their personal stories we learn of the experience of being blind and how these fearless teenagers navigate through it.

Director: Abigail Fuller & Sarah Ivy, Documentary, 76 min, USA, English, Family Friendly

February 23, 2017

The Case of the Three Sided Dream - (Matinee film begins at 4:00 PM)

Multi-instrumentalist jazz legend Rahsaan Roland Kirk was known for playing multiple instruments at once and for his comical and political interjections on stage, creating music about his experience becoming blind as an infant. A child prodigy, adult visionary, and political activist, Kirk played even after becoming paralyzed, and up until the day he died.

Director: Adam Kahan, Documentary, 88 min, USA, English, 2014

Location: Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24

6:00 - 8:00 p.m: ReelMusic: An All-Inclusive Jazz and Blues Jam

Professional jazz and blues musicians invite musicians with disabilities to jam with the band on February 23, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. (doors at 5:00pm) at the Secret Group to close the festival

Fest Date: February 19 - 23, 2017

Houston Ballet, 601 Preston Street, Houston, TX 77002
Shepherd School Of Music, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005
Edwards Greenway Palace 24, 3839 Weslayan, Houston, TX 77001

For More Information - http://houston.reelabilities.org/