Kicking off the festival…
Rich Clifford, Astronaut, Parkinson’s Advocate
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Rich Clifford made United States history as the first NASA astronaut to have conducted a six-hour spacewalk while docked to an orbiting space station…and he successfully completed that mission while keeping perhaps one of NASA’s most significant secrets. He was newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease prior to take off. He and his incredible story will lead a long list of nationally recognized personalities and feature films for a unique Hollywood-style celebration of humanity and differences at the greatly expanded 2017 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival organized by LADD, Inc., March 9 to 12, 2017 – one of the largest film festivals in the country that is expected to draw some 10,000 visitors to the Duke Energy Convention Center.
Clifford was one of six astronauts about Atlantis on that historic 1996 docking mission to the Russian space station Mir. It was his third mission and final mission. Anticipating questions and concerns if he disclosed his diagnosis, only his flight director, crew and limited NASA staff knew his secret. He and his documentary, the Astronaut’s Secret, will be featured at the Film Festival’s Premiere Night film screening event on March 9.
What’s new and different in the 2017 festival:
The red carpet will be rolled out as this year’s Film Festival is transformed into a film screening extravaganza with star-studded parties, workshops, special events, speakers, lounges…and more than 40 thought provoking films showcasing the stories, lives and art of people who experience disabilities. Have a root beer shot at Saturday’s crazy fun party (details to come!). Join in a tribute to military heroes and veterans. See some of our region’s greatest locally produced short films. Learn how to act, model, tell your story or create low tech films. Create your own art. Transform the way you perceive differences, the way you see, appreciate and welcome each other. That and more will be the highlight of 2017 Cincinnati ReelAbilities!
Changes of the expanded 2017 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival include:
More ways to connect, to be inspired, and to party. Now in one central location, the Festival has become a four-day, entertainment and celebrity packed extravaganza with back to back events and networking opportunities. Between films and celebrations, guests can participate in fun workshops, practice creating art, or meeting new friends in one of the lounges.
More films and more film screenings. This year’s Festival will include screenings of over 40 films, many of which have never been shown before in this region – including a local film night – with powerful, transformational messages.
More nonprofit organizations to benefit. In 2015, the Festival raised money for 17 local nonprofit organizations whose work is about enriching and strengthening the lives of people who experience disability. This year’s Festival will benefit 28 local nonprofit organizations.
Two powerful events to pay tribute to veterans. A Veterans’ reception and film screening will be Friday evening followed by a Veteran’s breakfast and film screening Saturday morning, each with keynote speakers who are nationally recognized Purple Heart recipients.
A new Interfaith Breakfast on Friday. Congregations of diverse faiths will join together for important conversations around strengthening congregations and communities through inclusion. Michigan State Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein will be the featured Keynote Speaker.
A wild, new concept for a Saturday night party. Co-hosted by two of the Film Festival’s VIP celebrities from a feature film (we’ll reveal this in January!), we promise this will be one party you will not want to miss!
Other VIP celebrities for the 2017 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival will be announced in January.
Film trailers and ticket sales for the film screenings and parties will be online beginning January 15 at www.CincyRA.org.
About LADD, Inc. (organizer of the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival)
Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD, Inc.) is a 41 year old Cincinnati-based nonprofit organization that is guided by the belief that every person has ability and value, and that there is great strength in diversity. LADD works to propel the inclusion and success of nearly 500 adults in Hamilton County who have developmental disabilities through housing and employment options, life skills training, and advocacy leadership.