Enjoy free access to 16 award-winning, thought-provoking films at your convenience starting at 12:00 PM on Wednesday, February 16. All films are audio-described and captioned; all films are available free of charge.
The ReelAbilities Houston audience to enjoy the following films:
Disabilities Represented: Traumatic brain injury
Director: Paul Nadler
50 min - Documentary – English - Canada
Description: Ten years ago, Paul Nadler was a creative maverick: an extreme sportsman, award-winning TV director, and a veritable Casanova to boot. When a car accident leaves him with a traumatic brain injury he sets out to reaffirm he is still is all of these things.
Disabilities Represented: Alzheimer’s
Director: Cian Elyse White
12 min - Narrative – Maori – New Zealand
Description: Te Puhi prepares for the toughest day of her life—she must come to terms with her father’s dementia. But first, the two share a traditional meal.
Disabilities Represented: Deafness and hearing loss
Director: Nicole Miller
14 min - Documentary – English - Australia
Description: A personal look into the inner world of Peter, a Deaf man, and his experiences in his day-to-day social interactions. With comedy and creativity, we learn about Paul’s reality and perspective.
Disabilities Represented: Cerebral palsy
Director: Tamar Rogoff & Daisy Wright
67 min - Documentary – English - United States
Description: 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.
Disabilities Represented: Deafblindness
Director: Doug Roland
18 min narrative + 24 min documentary – Narrative + Documentary – English – United States
Description: While wandering around New York, 18 year-old Tereek encounters Artie, a DeafBlind man trying to get home. It is the first film ever to feature a DeafBlind actor in a lead role.
Disability Represented: Parkinson’s Disease
Director: Ram Devineni
24 mins - Documentary– English – United States
Description: Hal Sirowitz has Parkinson’s disease. At one time one of the most popular poets in the United States, he was a regular on MTV and one of the original performers at the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe. Hal and his partner, the writer Minter Krotzer, have become advocates for people with Parkinson’s disease and their families. A funny and uplifting story about being a creative couple and finding your voice.
Disabilities Represented: Mental health
37 min - Narrative – English – United States
Description: Living with mental illness is more common than you think. In America, one in five adults experience mental illness in a given year. Keeping The Chaos Together is a documentary that takes an intimate look into the lives of those who live with a mental health struggle, such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder. These inspirational and emotional stories as well as interviews with psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals provide a deeper understanding about mental illness and show that with the proper care, treatment and resources, one can live a happy and successful life. The more mental health is talked about in an open and honest way, the closer we will become to putting an end to the stigma.
Where there is hope, there is recovery.
Disabilities Represented: Blindness
Director: Sergio Morkin
80 min - Documentary - Spanish - Mexico
Description: Maricarmen Graue is a cello player, music teacher, writer, and marathon runner. Blind and living alone, she subverts any expectations of helplessness with a biting sense of humor and a fierce attitude. Swaying between laughter and a bare-boned meditation on the act of living, Maricarmen navigates the trials and triumphs of a strong, perseverant woman.
Disabilities Represented: ALS
Director: Nicholas Bruckman
93 min - Documentary – English – United States
Description: When activist and new father Ady Barkan is diagnosed with ALS and given four years to live, he finds himself directly impacted by a new legislation proposal jeopardizing essential healthcare programs critical to Ady’s and others’ survival. After a chance confrontation with Senator Jeff Flake goes viral, Ady embarks on a cross-country tour, using his final breaths to fight for healthcare justice to try and create a better world for his newborn son to inherit.
Disabilities Represented: Amniotic Band Syndrome
Director: Ashley Eakin
14 min - Narrative – English – United States
Description: Kim, who was born with one arm, gets set up on a blind date. When she finally meets Jake, she quickly realizes he also has a physical disability, and she is pissed. An unapologetic perspective on the complexities of being disabled and dating.
Disabilities Represented: Down Syndrome
Director: Ignacio Márquez
91 min - Narrative – Spanish – Venezuela
Description: Chuo, a charming young man with Down syndrome, must navigate the challenges of early adulthood as he seeks to build a life of independence from his troubled father. Long separated by an ocean of silence and shame, will the two men be able to build a common future?
Disabilities Represented: Autism
Director: Cameron Carr
2 min - Documentary – English – United Kingdom
Description: An animated glimpse into the life of an autistic author exploring friendship, trials, and the use of unique coping strategies.
Disabilities Represented: Chronic illness (autoimmune arthritis)
Director: Natalie LaValley
15 min - Narrative – English – United States
Description: When a chronic illness disqualifies Danika from space flight, she finds a new path.
Disabilities Represented: Wheelchair user
Director: David Proud
12 min - Narrative – English – United Kingdom
Description: An unemployed disabled actress is frustrated that all the disabled acting roles go to able-bodied actors. She gets a job as an advisor to a spoilt up-and-coming British film star, advising him on how to be disabled for his latest role, which might just win him a BAFTA.
Disabilities Represented: Hearing loss
Director: Carolina Cordero
45 min - Documentary – English, Spanish– United States
Description: We Hear You is a groundbreaking one-hour documentary about hearing loss, the invisible disability that impacts 430 million people worldwide. By shining a light on the hearing loss experience, it strives to build awareness, community and a more inclusive world for all. Hearing loss is not always accurately represented in mainstream media. Of the 48 million Americans who have trouble hearing, less than 5% use sign language as their primary form of communication. Yet sign language is the lived experience that is most often portrayed on the large and small screen. Until now.
Executive produced by three women with hearing loss, the documentary was conceived, filmed and directed across two continents, all during the COVID-19 pandemic.