ReelAbilities Film Festival Programming Announcement

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The 5th Annual Toronto
ReelAbilities Film Festival

12 Films plus Q&As, Workshops and Events Online

ReelAbilities Film Festival is proud to announce the full schedule for the5th Anniversary Festival, which has moved online for 2020. From May 20 – 24, 2020, ReelAbilities Film Festival will showcase Canadian and International shorts, features, and documentaries about Deaf and disability cultures and by filmmakers and actors with disabilities and/or who are Deaf.
ReelAbilities Film Festival will screen a dozen films including the opening night online screening of Code of the Freaks on May 20, followed by a Q&A moderated by Dr. Angelo Murreda. Directed by Salome Chasnoff, Code of the Freaks presents a radical reframing of the use of disabled characters in film, gathering hundreds of clips from over a century of Hollywood favourites – viewed with a fresh perspective by disability activists, artists and scholars.
The feature films at ReelAbilities Film Festival cover a wide variety of topics and issues including: 25 Prospect Street, the incredible story of a movie palace that provides unprecedented opportunities for people with disabilities; The Witch Hunters, a film about ten-year-old Jovan who was born with partial cerebral palsy; and Seeing the Unseen, a documentary that looks into the lives of 17 Icelandic women who all have one thing in common – a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum.
ReelAbilities Film Festival will also includeshort films such as: Love Beyond Accessibility, where a documentarian focused on accessibility discovers their subject’s romantic dilemmas; Boldly Go, about a young gay man who is hiding a secret about his body; A Provocation on Wheels, a dance film by Canadian artists Shay Erlich and Jenna Roy; Unquiet Hands, a student film depicting busy hands that voice a deeper emotional world that can often be difficult to articulate; and Tragically Deaf, where a film crew desperately tries to show how sad Paul’s life is because he is Deaf (but it’s really not that bad).
Previously announced highlights include: Kupenda, where three determined teenagers climb Mount Kilimanjaro to challenge their community’s long-held stigma against disability; Sock Guys, a peek John’s Crazy Socks, a business where people with intellectual disabilities work alongside their neurotypical colleagues; and From My Side of the Spectrum, the winner of the first ever Sandra Carpenter ReelAbilities Toronto Film Festival Student Film Award by 16 year old student filmmaker Aiden Lee.
ReelAbilities will also present events including: an Inclusive Content Creation workshop facilitated by the Accessibility Media Inc; a youth panel with Aiden Lee and members of the Holland-Bloorview Youth Council; and a panel about working with the CBC and how to pitch a project on May 24.
ReelAbilities Film Festival was established in New York in 2007. In 2016, it crossed the border into Canada as ReelAbilities Film Festival: Toronto, making it the first international chapter of the Festival.
ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto
May 20 – 24, 2020
Online screenings via JW Player
All screenings are free, with suggested donation
Full Schedule Available Now at
• All films will screen with open captioning
• Select films will screen with audio description as an option
• All workshops, panels, and post-film discussions will feature live captioning and ASL / /
ReelAbilities Film Festival Funders: National Accessibility Awareness Week, Government of Ontario, Toronto Arts Council, P&L Odette Foundation.
ReelAbilities Film Festival Sponsors: AMI Media
Media Contact: Damien Nelson, damien

Mat Fraser in Code of Freaks
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