ReelAbilitiesBoston Disabilities Film Festival Sets Records
NEWTON, MA. – Feb. 19, 2013 - The second annual ReelAbilities Boston Disabilities Film Festival was a record setter. The Festival, presented from Jan. 31-Feb. 5, enjoyed a nearly 21-percent jump in overall attendance and a record number of people attending a single screening.
ReelAbilities Boston, presented by The Boston Jewish Film Festival, saw attendance rise to almost 850 people. The screening of Israeli feature film Mabul (The Flood) drew 275 people, the best ever for a single screening at the Festival.
The Festival also had a jump in the number of movies from six to nine and spread to new locales in Hanover, Newton and Springfield, Mass.
“I am, of course, thrilled that we were able to increase our attendance,” says BJFF Executive Director Jaymie Saks. “But most importantly, the Festival enabled people to gain a greater understanding about the lives of those with disabilities.”
This year’s features included films about autism (Mary and Max from Australia and Mabul from Israel), mental illness (Princess from Finland), Down syndrome (Me, Too from Spain), blindness (The Straight Line from France) and physical disabilities (Body and Soul from Mozambique).
The Festival also included an evening of short films about Down syndrome (Anything You Can Do from Australia), stroke-related disability (Aphasia from the U.S.) and blindness (I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone from Brazil).
In addition to the Museum of Fine Arts and the West Newton Cinema, films were screened at the Cardinal Cushing Centers in Hanover, the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center of Newton (hosted by the CJP Committee on Services for People with Disabilities and the Special Needs Professionals Committee) and the Scibelli Enterprise Center in Springfield (hosted by the New England Business Associates).
The Festival was made possible by grants from The Boston Foundation, The Butler Foundation, The Ruderman Family Foundation, the Cambridge Trust Co., Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and NLM Family Foundation.
“We look forward to bringing ReelAbilities back again in 2014,” Saks says.