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February 13
ReelPeople: UP Abilities
February 12
February 17-20
February 21
Doors: open 6:30 | Music: 7:00 - 9:00
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Schedule of Events

Admission: FREE! Space is limited. Advance Registration Required. All films at Edwards are audio described.

click here for a text only version of the Schedule of Events

  • February 12:

    ReelPeople: UP Abilities

    This event, a partnership with The UP Experience, is the official kickoff of the festival, and opens the festival on February 12 with presentations from extraordinary thought leaders on cognitive and physical disabilities and topics of inclusion. After the speakers' presentations, attendees can attend smaller Q&A sessions with the speaker of their choice.

    A full speaker lineup is coming soon.

    6:15 PM: Doors open
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Event
    A.D. Players Theater
    5420 Westheimer Rd.
    Houston, TX 77056
  • February 13:


    The exhibition, one of few in the country, will take place from February 12 and run through the duration of the festival at JFS Houston's Center for Art and Photography at Celebration Company - an entrepreneurial program for adults living with disabilities who create art as an expressive outlet for creativity and as a life skill. The exhibition’s visiting artist will be Ezra Roy, a native Houstonian and visual artist who has Down syndrome. Roy specializes in painting, and his work often contains references to African art and Hip Hop culture. A preview of the ReelArt exhibit and meet-and-greet with Lack and other Celebration Company artists will take place from 6-8pm.

    6:00 - 8:00 pm: Exhibition preview, meet and greet the artists
    Center for Art and Photography at Celebration Company
    4131 S. Braeswood Blvd.
    Houston, TX 77025
  • February 17 - 20:

    ReelAbilities Film Festival:

    The 2019 festival will screen 13 films beginning February 17 through February 20 at Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24. Many of the films feature an interactive event to foster dialogue between the audience, the filmmaker, parents, professionals, or persons with disabilities, and to explore the subjects depicted in the film.

    This year's films include:

    February 17:
    • Evening Feature: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
      Far From the Tree
      Based on the NY Times bestselling book by Andrew Solomon, Far from the Tree examines the experiences of families in which parents and children are profoundly different from one another in a variety of ways.
      Director: Rachel Dretzin, 93 min, USA, English
    February 18:
    • Family Friendly Film: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
      • Perfectly Normal for Me
        At a unique after-school dance program in Queens, kids with a variety of physical and developmental challenges pair with teenage volunteer helpers and create an inclusive environment too often absent in our world.
        Director: Catherine Tambini, 57 min, USA, English
    • Matinee Films: 4:00 - 5:30 PM
      • Mr. Connolly Has ALS
        A beloved high school principal continues to lead, despite rapidly losing his abilities to ALS.
        Director: Dan Habib, 32 min, USA, English
      • Torture by Sound
        An animated exploration of Misophonia, a disorder characterized by immense pain and agitation resulting from hearing common everyday sounds.
        Director: Gwyneth Christoffel, 5 min, Canada, English
      • Unstuck: An OCD Kids Movie
        Children with OCD describe their experience while their families and loved ones yearn for ways to help them.
        Director: Kelly Anderson, 24 min, USA, English
    • Evening Feature: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
      • Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw
        Billed as the “female Michael Jordan,” basketball phenom Holdsclaw led Tennessee to three successive championships and became a WNBA number one pick, Rookie-of-the-Year and All Star. But her hidden struggle with mental illness led to personal setbacks and a second career, as a vocal mental health advocate.
        Director: Rick Goldsmith, 56 min, USA, English
    February 19:
    • Matinee Films: 4:00 - 5:30 PM
      • Leo & Caro
        Leo, a "vertically challenged" public officer and comedian, is about to marry Carol, a teacher who is 5'5” tall.
        Director: Alvaro Campos & Dafne Capella, 15 min, Brazil, Portuguese
      • Lethe
        Waking after a mysterious car accident, a young amnesiac woman must piece together fragmented memories while running from mysterious pursuers.
        Director: Eric Romero, 20 min, UK, Englishh
      • Just Go!
        Just, who lost both of his legs in an accident, chases the thieves who stole his crush's purse.
        Director: Pavel, 10 min, Latvia, Latvian
    • Evening Feature: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
      • The Milky Pop Kid
        An actor and disability consultant is asked to help a former child star prepare for his triumphant comeback in a likely award-bait role.
        Director: Johanna Garvin, 7 min, Australia, English
      • By Stanley, For Stanley
        Several dozen years apart in age, both Stanislaw and Staś were born without arms. A remarkable artist who uses his feet to paint, draw, eat, and drive, Stanislaw becomes an important mentor to young Staś, a boy still learning to navigate his unique place in the world.
        Director: Monika Melen, 54 min, Poland, Polish
    February 20:
    • Matinee Films: 4:00 - 5:45 PM
      • The Rider
        After a tragic riding accident, young cowboy Brady once a rising star of the rodeo circuit, is warned that his competition days are over. Back home, Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.
        Director: Chloe Zhao, 105 min, USA, English
    • Evening Feature: 7:00 - 8:30 PM
      • Deej
        DJ Savarese ("Deej") finds comfort in words, as expressed by his poetry belying his high school senior standing. Yet he only “speaks” through a text-to-voice synthesizer. Adopted by a loving and supportive family, Deej navigates the college admissions process as a young adult on the autistic spectrum, while confronting obstacles to inclusion.
        Director: Robert Rooy, 72 min, USA, English
  • February 21:


    Professional musicians invite musicians with disabilities to jam with the band at White Oak Music Hall from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

    6:30 PM: Doors open
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Jam Session
    White Oak Music Hall
    2915 N Main St.
    Houston, TX 77009

Special Events

  • Ongoing: ReelEducation

    In addition to ReelAbilities' city-wide public events, the festival also brings free programming during the school day to Houston area schools so that the message of inclusion and the importance of arts is being communicated to our city's youth - through film, music, and fine art. Last year, over 7000 elementary, middle and high school students participated. Contact Andie Palagi at for more information.

  • Ongoing: ReelWorkplace

    ReelWorkplace seminars featuring films, speakers, and etiquette workshops about various topics of inclusion are attended by local companies to benefit their hiring managers, staff, and future employees. Contact Laura Alter at for more information.