Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

City and Local Organizations to Help Immigrants Despite Challenges to New Policies

February 5, 2015 -- Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the Department of Neighborhoods Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) invite the community to ReelAbilities: Houston Disabilities Film Festival 2015, scheduled for February 8-12, 2015.  The festival showcases the lives and stories of people with disabilities through films, art and national speakers. 

This year the festival commemorates the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Houston City Hall will be aglow in the festival’s theme color of orange February 11 to 12 to commemorate the landmark anniversary. 

“We invite everyone to attend the film screenings, art exhibits and talks exploring the aspirations and triumphs of people with disabilities,” said Mayor Parker, who serves as festival honorary chair.  “This is an opportunity for us to celebrate our diversity, spirit of inclusiveness and the values that we share as individuals and citizens of this great city.”

Organized by Jewish Family Service Alexander Institute for Inclusion, the festival includes the participation of MOPD along with over 35 community organizations and corporate sponsors.  The festival features 13 films appealing to all ages, two art exhibits and nationally recognized speakers exploring disabilities topics such as mental health challenges, inclusion in the workplace and technological advances.

The events will take place in nine venues across the city.  Some of the events are free but all require registration. Disability accommodations are available on request.  For a festival schedule and to register and purchase tickets, visit www.disabilitiesfilmfestival.org or call 713.667.9336 Ext. 208.

Festival Highlights

Sunday, February 8, 1 p.m. - Opening Day
Children’s Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz Street
*“Dolphin Tale 2,” a film with a message of tolerance and inclusion to young children, starring Winter the dolphin with a unique prosthetic tale.
*Presentation by The Seeing Eye featuring guide dogs

Sunday, February 8, 5:30 p.m. - Opening Night
Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24, 3839 Weslayan Street
*Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary Commemoration
*City Proclamation by Mayor Annise Parker presented by Houston City Council Member Ellen Cohen 
*Homage to President George H. W. Bush’s Role in Securing Rights for Individuals with Disabilities
*Film: “It’s All About Friends,” a story filled with drama, laughter, love and friendship about a depressed NYC cinematographer who opens his heart and mind to people with disabilities.

Monday, February 9, 6 p.m. Reception, 7 p.m. Program – Documentary Film & Discussion
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet Street
*Film: “Little World,” about Albert, who loves his life in Barcelona and won't let anything get in his way, least of all his wheelchair, and who at 19 has made a sport of traveling the world.
*Discussion led by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein, an avid marathon runner and triathlete and the first state judge in the country who is blind.

ReelShorts Ongoing Screenings
Houston Visitors Center, Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby Street, 1st Floor, Feb. 9-12, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Houston Airport System, Houston George Bush International Airport, Terminal D, Feb. 8-12
Nicole Longnecker Gallery, 2625 Colquitt Street, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Feb. 10-12

Thursday, February 12, 5:15 p.m. Reception, 6 p.m. Program – Festival Finale
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston, 303 Jackson Hill Street
*An Extraordinary Evening of Extraordinary Experts
*UP Abilities: In Partnership with The UP Experience
A fascinating evening with four engaging experts pushing the boundaries of physical and emotional limits.