Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

"ReelAbilities" Film Festival Celebrates the Real Abilities of People with Disabilities
Citywide Festival Runs February 9-13



February 7, 2014 -- The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) invites the community to ReelAbilities: Houston Disabilities Film Festival 2014, scheduled for February 9-13 at locations throughout the city. MOPD is a proud supporter of this second annual event exploring the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities sponsored by Jewish Family Service (JFS) Alexander Institute for Inclusion and TIRR Memorial Hermann.


“The City of Houston is proud of this celebration of our diversity and ‘real’ abilities,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “It’s an affirmation of the human values and aspirations that we all share. This wonderful film festival breaks down stereotypes and proves that anything is possible, and when people see the exhilarating stories on the big screen, they can believe it.”


The citywide festival will feature 9 films, post-screening discussions and exhibits at 11 community venues and will include daytime and evening programs. Most of the film screenings are free and some events require registration. The overall goal of the festival is to reduce the stigma often associated with disabilities through film and the arts.


“We want to help bring about a systemic change in the culture of our families, institutions, workplaces and communities to become more inclusive of adults and children with disabilities,” said JFS event coordinator Lauren Mielziner. “ReelAbilities is an invitation to all Houstonians to help create a community of inclusion.”


Festival Highlights
Opening Night at The Houston Zoo features The Importance of Tying Your Shoes, with an opening reception at 5:30 p.m. and the film screening at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, February 9, 6200 Hermann Drive 77030.


Getting Up tells the story of “Tempt One,” a graffiti artist from LA who, even with advanced ALS, continues to create art. Mayor Annise Parker will deliver opening comments at the film presentation, Monday, February 10, 7 p.m., at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Brown Auditorium, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet Street 77005.


Hosted by MOPD, ¡Henry O! tells the story of a man, who despite being blind, has made his major league baseball dream come true. The film presentation will include a special guest appearance by Enrique “Henry O” Oliu, Wednesday, February 12, 2 p.m., at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray 77019.


Free Admission. “Positive Exposure,” a multi-media presentation by Rick Guidotti, projects a new vision of beauty that will Change the Way You See and See the Way You Change, Wednesday, February 12, 8 p.m., at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood Boulevard 77096. Free Admission.


Closing Night is fun-filled, featuring Musical Chairs, Thursday, February 13, 6:30 p.m., at Talento Bilingüe de Houston, 333 S. Jensen Drive 77003.


For a complete list of festival events and ticket information, visit or call 713.667.9336.


To learn about MOPD, a division of the Department of Neighborhoods, visit