About Us

Our Story

The ReelAbilities NY Disabilities Film Festival

The ReelAbilities NY Disabilities Film Festival was initiated at the JCC in Manhattan, in 2007. The festival was the first of its kind to present award- winning films by and about people with disabilities. Screenings took place at multiple venues throughout the city and they were followed by discussions that brought together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.

The ReelAbilities Film Festival

In 2012, Cincinnati, Ohio was the first city to follow in New York’s footsteps by hosting a ReelAbilities Film Festival. Since then, the festival has spread to over a dozen cities in North America, and we have received more than 500 films for consideration submitted from across the globe. In 2014, the festival’s national headquarters moved to Cincinnati where it is being managed by a nonprofit, Living Arrangements for Developmentally Disabled (LADD), Inc.

ReelAbilities Chicago

In 2015, Chicago hosted 5 days of amazing films from September 9-13, along with engaging panel discussions, guest speakers, exhibitions, and performances. To see the archived website for ReelAbilities Chicago 2015, visit http://reelabilitieschicago.org/. Stay tuned for news of our next festival, coming in 2017!

Meet the Chicago Team

Co- Directors

Reveca Torres
Reveca Torres
Founder & Director of BACKBONES

Matt Lauterbach
Matt Lauterbach
Documentary Editor & Advocate for Accessible Media

Grishma Shah
Grishma Shah
Mass Media Consultant

On July 9, 2015, Chicago ReelAbilities Film Festival co-directors Reveca Torres, Grishma Shah, and Matt Lauterbach talked with StoryCorps about how ReelAbilities Chicago began. Listen here!