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ReelAbilities Film Festival Northern Virginia



About ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia

The JCCNV Cultural Arts Department is proud to present the 6th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia in March 2018. ReelAbilities is the largest film festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. Initiated in NY in 2007, the festival presents award winning films by and about people with disabilities. ReelAbilities events have been held in over a dozen cities in North America and Canada.

The Northern Virginia ReelAbilities Film Festival, powered by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, launched in 2011. Run out of the J’s Cultural Arts Department, in collaboration with the J’s Special Needs Department, the week-long Festival offers special programming that goes beyond film. Engaging programs, in addition to thought-provoking film, bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.



Partnerships & Sponsorships

The Northern Virginia ReelAbilities Film Festival thrives through its partnerships with individuals and local organizations.  These partners help get screenings in an array of venues, maximize festival participation, increase outreach, and garner media coverage.

Show your support of this remarkable disability awareness program by joining the ReelAbilities Film Festival Family! Bring a group, volunteer at the films, or start a conversation about sponsorship opportunities. 

Learn more about ways to partner with us!

We’d like to thank the following generous ReelAbilities Partners for helping to make this festival possible (as of 1/4/2018):

Gold Donor

Silver Donors

Bronze Donors:

Andrew and Susan Baldwin


We’d like to thank the following ReelAbilities promotional partners for helping to make this festival possible (as of 1/25/2018):




Festival Lineup & Tickets

In partnership with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia is hosting special screenings during February during Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). Join one of the these events

(Includes admission to all ticketed events. See below for event tickets and details.)
J Members & 65+………… $55
General Admission………. $65


Opening Night
Saturday, March 10 | 7:30pm
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia           
8900 Little River Turnpike     
Fairfax, VA 22031


Dir. Zac Titus/ 6 min/ USA/ English  
A glimpse at the struggle of an American Veteran of War at a time in which the Veteran suicide rate in America is staggering.
Accessibility: Open Captions, Audio Description


American Veteran

Dir. Julie Cohen/ 75 min/ USA/ English
Sgt. Nick Mendes was paralyzed from the neck down by an IED and suffers from PTSD. The film follows Nick’s journey over the course of 5 years, sharing his sometimes harrowing, sometimes romantic, and often surprisingly funny life. Watch trailer.


J Members & 65+…………… $12
General Admission ……….. $15
Buy tickets here


Night 2
Sunday, March 11, 2018 

How Sweet the Sound- The Blind Boys of Alabama
Reston Community Center
2310 Colts Neck Road
Reston, VA 20191

Dir. Leslie McCleave/ 89 min/ USA/ English 
Legendary gospel quartet The Blind Boys of Alabama have had a remarkable career—since meeting at a vocational institute for the blind, they have toured for seven decades, amassing five Grammy Awards and international acclaim. Watch trailer.
Accessibility: Open Captions, Audio Description
Get tickets here

Carte Blanche
Cinema Arts Theatre     
9650-14 Main Street Fairfax, VA 22031

Dir. Jacek Lusinski/ 106 min/ Poland/ Polish
Inspired by an incredible true story, this feel-good movie about a high school history teacher who – fearing he might lose his job and his dignity – hides the fact that he’s losing his sight. Watch trailer
Accessibility: Open Captions, Audio Description
Get tickets here


Night 3
Monday, March 12, 2018 | 6pm
PHILLIPS School, Annandale
7010 Braddock Road        
Annandale, VA 22003

My Feral Heart

Dir. Jane Gull/ 83 min/ UK/ English
Sudden bereavement throws Luke, an independent young man with Down Syndrome, into a care home, where his frustration finds release in unexpected friendships and long-buried secrets. Watch trailer
Accessibility: Open Captions
Get tickets here


Night 4
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 | 7:30pm
1st Stage                           
1524 Spring Hill Road
Tysons, VA 22102 

Presented by the Law Office of Michel D. Toobin, P.C.


The Rebound

Dir. Shaina Allen/ 65 min/ USA/ English
Follow the journey of the Miami Heat Wheels wheelchair basketball team in their unwavering quest for a national championship. The story is a testament to our innate ability to work together despite challenges. Watch trailer.

Accessibility: Open Captions, Audio Description
Get tickets here


Night 5 
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | 7:30 pm
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia           
8900 Little River Turnpike     
Fairfax, VA 22031

Presented by Belkowitz Law, PLLC


The Battle (Short)

Dir. Poppy Walker/ 3 min/ Australia/ English
Kayah Guenther is a young artist  born with trisomy 21, he narrates his struggle to find his place in the world through dance.
Accessibility: Open Captions, Audio Description

Nise: The Heart of Madness

Dir. Roberto Berliner/ 108 min/ Brazil/ Portuguese
A psychiatrist refusing to employ electroshock therapy initiates an art therapy revolution, confronting Brazil’s mental health establishment. Based on a true story. Watch trailer.
Accessibility: Open Captions

Buy tickets here


Night 6 | Night of Shorts
Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 6:30pm
Temple Rodef Shalom         
2100 Westmoreland Street
Falls Church, VA 22043


Dir. Harriet Marie/ 9 min/ New Zealand/ English
Anna's routine is unexpectedly interrupted when someone takes her seat on the bus.
Accessibility: Open Captions





Children of God

Dir. Ahmed Yassin/ 10 min/ Iraq/ Arabic
A young amputee bets his prized series of football posters on the girl’s team winning a football match to gain the affections of his crush, their goalkeeper.  
Accessibility: Open Captions


Anyone Like Me 

Dir Mimi d'Autremont/ 26 min/ USA/ English
Shelby Bean's world changed when he was recruited to play football for Gallaudet University - home of the only deaf collegiate team. This is his story.  


Beneath the Surface  

Dir. Frederick Kroetsch and Kurt Spenrath/ 18 min/ Canada/ English
Daniel Ennett attempts to become the first scuba certified quadruple amputee. And then the sharks show up.


Creative Spark

Dir. Adam Lynch and Lauren Castillo/ 6 min/ Australia/ English
A peek into the creative world of artists residing at QArt Studio in Melbourne, Australia, where disability is a unique advantage.
Accessibility: English subtitles, Audio Description


Get tickets here


Night 7
Friday, March 16, 2018 | 2:30pm
Cinema Arts Theatre     
9650-14 Main Street Fairfax,
VA 22031

At Eye Level  
Special post-show speaker: Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, author of Little Gate Crasher. In partnership with Jewish Book Council. 

Dir. Joachim Dollhopf and Evi Goldbrunner/ 100 min/  Germany/ German
When 11-year-old Michi finds his estranged father’s address, he can’t believe his luck. But when he meets his father, Tom, and discovers he has dwarfism, Michi and Tom are forced to confront both disability and fatherhood head on. Watch trailer.
Accessibility: Open Captions 
Get tickets here


Saturday, March 17, 2018 | 1pm
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike     
Fairfax, VA 22031

Presented by The Washington Group Special Care Planning Team

Dir. Ron Clements & John Musker/  107 min/ USA/ English/ 2016
In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches Moana's island, she answers the Ocean's call to seek out the Demigod to set things right. Watch trailer.
Accessibility: This is a sensory friendly screening: lights up, sound down. Feel free to bring a pillow, relax, and enjoy! 
Tickets are free, please RSVP to Carey at: or 703.865.6502



Night 9
Sunday, March 18, 2018 | 7:30pm
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia           
8900 Little River Turnpike     
Fairfax, VA 22031

Ain't No Mountain

Dir. Ran Moncaz/ 60 min/ Israel/ English, Hebrew
The largest-ever expedition of climbers with disabilities attempts to reach the peak of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Watch trailer.
Accessibility: English subtitles 
Get tickets here


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Cultural Arts Director
Sarah M. Berry

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