2015 Festival

Films

Little World

Marcel Barrena / Spain 2012 / Catalan/Spanish / 83 min

World traveler Albert Casals doesn’t let his use of a wheelchair get in the way of his adventures. The 19-year-old sets out on a new journey to the farthest point from his home in Barcelona to a lighthouse in New Zealand… with his girlfriend Anna, his wit and charm, and just 20 euro in his poc

The Crash Reel

Lucy Walker / USA / 2013 / 109 min. / Documentary / Open Captions

The dramatic story of one unforgettable athlete, Kevin Pearce; one eye-popping sport: snowboarding; and one explosive issue, traumatic brain injury. A comeback story with a difference. (This film was selected exclusively by Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, and was not part of the national selection pool)

Touch of The Light

Chang Jung-chi / Taiwan / Min Nan/Mandarin / 2012 /

The story of a blind piano prodigy from rural Taiwan named Huang Yu-Siang, who stars as himself. Critically acclaimed, Touch of the Light celebrates the triumphs of those who dare to dream.

FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement

Regan Brashear / USA / English / 2013 / 60 min. / Documentary / Open Captions

Does a man with no legs truly have a “disability” when he can run faster than most people in the world? What does it mean to be “normal” in a world where increasing numbers of people turn to “smart drugs” to get ahead each day? Fixed looks at the drive to be “better than human” and the radical technological innovations that may make it possible.

Here One Day

Kathy Leichter / USA / English / 2012 / 76 min. / Documentary / Open Captions

Here One Day is a visually arresting, emotionally candid film about a woman coping with mental illness, her relationships, and the ripple effects of her suicide on those she loved, all seen through the discoveries of her daughter years later. Also featuring a local story short by Cincinnati Enquirer.

Where Hope Grows

Chris Dowling / USA / English / 2014 /  95 min. / Narrative / Open Captions

A baseball star forced into early retirement struggles to adjust to the curve ball life has thrown him. He finds new life through an unexpected friendship with Produce, a local grocery store clerk who has Down syndrome. (This film was selected exclusively by Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, and was not part of the national selection pool)

Celebrity Guests: The Cincinnati Reds’ Teddy Kremer; Film Star David DeSanctis; Film Producer Milan Chakraborty

Bipolarized

Rita Kotzia / USA / English / 2013 / 76 min. / Narrative / Open Captions

One man rethinks his mental illness. BIPOLARIZED follows Ross McKenzie as he embarks on a journey to treat his symptoms through alternative treatments and dig up the root cause of his mental breakdown.

Come As You Are (Hasta La Vista)

Geoffrey Enthoven / Belgium / 2011 / 115 min. / Narrative / Open Captions / Audio Description

While their families think they are on a wine tour in Spain, three young men embark on a wild trip to a Spanish brothel that caters to people with disabilities, on a quest to lose their virginity.

It’s All About Friends

Lena Koppel / Sweden, 2013 / Swedish / 91 min

The beloved characters from The Importance of Tying Your Own Shoes return! When the group decides to shoot a film about their lives, Peter calls his old friend Max, a successful, yet lonely and depressed, NYC-based cinematographer. When Max arrives he realizes that the documentary he has promised to shoot is about people with disabilities and he is forced to confront his own prejudices.

Wampler’s Ascent

Jacques Spitzer / USA / 2012 / 77 min / Documentary / Open Captions

Steve Wampler, a teacher and father with cerebral palsy, must do 20,000 pull-ups to climb the famous El Capitan Mountain in Yosemite. His goal is to show kids with disabilities that they can do anything they set their minds to.

Getting Up

Casky Ebeling / USA / English / 2012 / Documentary

In Getting Up, Renowned graffiti artist TemptOne loses his creative voice, after being paralyzed by Lou Gehrig’s disease. Through technology and the help of his crew, he is able to create art, write again – and regain his street cred.

On Beauty

Joanna Rudnick / USA & Kenya / English / 2014 / Documentary

On Beauty challenges perceptions of beauty through the stories of people with genetic syndromes and disabilities across the globe.

Travis: A Soldier’s Story

Jonathan Link / USA / English / 2013 /60 min. / Documentary / Open Captions

Travis is one of five quadruple-amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries. Travis: A Soldier’s Story is an intimate look into the daily inward and outward struggles of our wounded veterans and the difficult rehabilitation they face. Shown in partnership with the upcoming exhibit, Treasures of Our Military Past, at Cincinnati Museum Center.  The V.A.’s Mobile Health Screening Unit will be present along with other agencies that provide services and recreational opportunities to veterans at this special event.

(This film was selected exclusively by Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, and was not part of the national selection pool).

AKA Doc Pomus

Peter Miller and Will Hechter/ Canada/USA / English / 2012 / 98 min. / Documentary / Open Captions / Audio Descriptions

AKA Doc Pomus brings to life the extraordinary journey of Doc Pomus, from being partially paralyzed by polio as a child to later becoming one of American popular music’s greatest songwriters, with classics like “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “This Magic Moment.”

Habana Muda

Eric Brach / France/Cuba / Spanish / 2011 / 61 min. / Documentary / Open Captions

Habana Muda tells the story of Chino, a deaf farmer in Havana, who is torn between staying with his family or joining a gay Mexican man named Jose who wants to help him leave Cuba. Habana Muda presents a very real look at the intricate webs we weave as humans in our quest for love, meaning and fulfillment.

Stand Clear of The Closing Doors

Sam Fleischner/ USA / Spanish & English / 2014 / 98 min. / Narrative / Open Captions / Audio Descriptions
The story of a boy on the autism spectrum named Ricky who, after a particularly difficult day at school, escapes into the subways. It’s here that he starts his real journey, on a days-long voyage of discovery while, above ground, his fractured family must come together to search for him.

ReelCincy / Closing Night Shorts

Focusing the lens on Cincinnati, ReelAbilities and the Cincinnati Enquirer are partnering to bring you several documentary shorts that are created by local filmmakers about local people.

Special Guests

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin

 Academy Award-Winning Actress

Danny Woodburn

Danny Woodburn

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Seinfeld

Daryl Chill Mitchell

Daryl Chill Mitchell

NCIS New Orleans, Veronica’s Closet

Justin LeBlanc

Justin LeBlanc

Project Runway

Kurt Yaeger

Sons of Anarchy

Richard Bernstein

Richard Bernstein

Michigan Supreme Court Justice

Rick Guidotti

Founder, Positive Exposure

Teddy Kremer

Teddy Kremer

Cincinnati Reds; Honorary Festival Chair

Milan Chakraborty

Milan Chakraborty

Producer, Where Hope Grows

David DeSanctis

David DeSanctis

Actor, Where Hope Grows

Kathy Leichter

Kathy Leichter

Director, Here One Day

Ross McKenzie

Ross McKenzie

Protagonist, Bipolarized

SSG Travis Mills

SSG Travis Mills

Protagonist, Travis: A Soldier’s Story

Kevin Pearce

Kevin Pearce

Former U.S. Snowboarding Champion

Michael Schlitz

Michael Schlitz

Retired Army Ranger

Steve Wampler

Steve Wampler

Protagonist, Wampler’s Ascent

2013

Films & Events

Anita

Marcos Carnevale / Argentina / Spanish w/English Subtitles / 104 min / Narrative / 2009

Anita, a young woman with Down syndrome, gets separated from her mother after a bomb explodes at their Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires. As she wanders the city searching for her mom–alone for the first time ever–she discovers an inner strength few could have expected.

Ben-X

Nic Balthazar / Belgium / Flemish and Dutch  / 93 min / Narrative / 2007

Ben lives in a universe unto itself. He hides from his harsh reality of school, being bullied, and awkward social interactions by escaping into his favorite online computer game, Archlord, where he is safe, strong, and in control of his surroundings. In this remarkable drama, Ben devises a plan to leave his reality and to become the hero he dreams of being..

Body and Soul

Body and Soul (De Corpo e Alma)

Matthieu Bron / France & Mozambique / Portuguese / Documentary / 54 min

The amazing story of three young Mozambicans with physical disabilities, who work to help others in their community. Their daily lives reveal how they see themselves, raising questions of self-acceptance and how to find one’s place in society…

Ocean Heaven

Xiao Lu Xue / China / Mandarin / 96 min / 2011

Jet Li, in his first dramatic role, stars in this moving story of a father’s tireless love for his autistic son and his attempt to teach his son the life skills necessary to survive on his own. A poignant tribute to parents’ infinite love for their children.

Outsider: The Life and Art of Judith Scott

Outsider: The Life and Art of Judith Scott

Betsy Bayha / Documentary / 26 min / USA / 2006

In this award-winning film, Judith Scott creates body-like sculptures from found objects. Judith has Down Syndrome, is deaf, and does not speak. These sculptures are her most complex means of communication. Judith had become a famous “outsider artist,” proving the power of artistic expression and the importance of a loving family..

Shameless: The Art of Disability

Bonnie Klein / Documentary / 76 min / Canada / 2006

Director Bonnie Klein gathers a motley crew of artists with diverse disabilities for a pajama party. A comedian, poet, dancer, and others take a subversive look at Hollywood stereotypes of people with disabilities. They decide to continue meeting, and together embark on a mission to create their own images of disability.

Warrior Champions

Craig Renaud, Brent Renaud / Documentary / China, USA / English / 80 min

Four Iraq War veterans turn the nightmares of war into Olympic dreams. After losing limbs and suffering paralysis fighting for their country in Iraq, they have set out to do what many thought impossible… but will they make the cut?y.

Wretches and Jabberers

Gerardine Wurzburg / Documentary / USA / English / 90 min

Two men with autism–an accomplished artist and an activist–embark on a global quest to change attitudes about autism and intelligence. Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland, dissecting, challenging, and reshaping public conceptions along the way.

Mary & Max

Adam Elliot / Australia / 80 minutes / Narrative

Mary & Max is a claymated feature film from the creators of the Academy Award winning short animation HARVIE KRUMPET. A tale of pen-friendship between to very different people: Mary Dinkle, a chubby lonely eight year old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horovitz, a 44 year old, obese, Jewish man with Aspergers Syndrome living in the chaos of New York. Spanning 20 years and 2 continents, Mary and Max’s friendship survives much more than the average diet of life’s ups and downs. Like Harvie Krumpet, Mary & Max is innocent but not naive, as it takes us on a journey that explores friendship, autism, taxidermy, psychiatry, alcoholism, where babies come from, obesity, kleptomania, sexual difference, trust, copulating dogs, religious difference, agoraphobia and much, much more..

Aphasia

Jim Gloster / USA / English / 40 min / 2011

Aphasia tells the true story of actor Carl McIntyre about the effects of a massive stroke he suffered at the age of 44 – he lost his ability to read, write and speak. Starring as himself, McIntyre portrays his life story with an incredibly nuanced performance. Through humor and pathos Aphasia speaks to anyone who has struggled to meet life’s challenges.

Praying with Lior

Ilana Trachtman / Documentary / 87 min / USA / 2008

Lior has Down Syndrome, and has spend his entire life praying with utter abandon. As Lior approaches Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony, different characters provide a window into the life spent “praying with Lior.” The movie poses difficult questions such as what is “disability” and who really talks to God?s.

Special Guests

Alison Delgado

Alison Delgado

Jeff Harris

Jeffery P. Harris

Speaker, Ocean Heaven

Matthew Higgs

Matthew Higgs

Speaker, Outsider (Closing Night)

Tom di Maria

Tom di Maria

Speaker, Outsider (Closing Night)

Joe Collier

Joe Collier

Katie Bachmeyer

 Panelist, JCC screening of Body + Soul

Flavia Bastos

Flavia Bastos

Adam Ayers

Adam Ayers

Janice Ricks

Janice L. Ricks

Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown

David Dreith

David Dreith

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