Submissions are now open for the 15th annual ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York taking place April 27-May 3, 2023 in a hybrid format.
ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities. Started at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan in 2007, the annual festival presents award-winning films by and about people with disabilities in multiple locations throughout each hosting city. Post-screening discussions and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.
Since 2020, the festival runs in a hybrid format, presenting films and events in-person and virtually. As part of the ReelAbilities accessibility mission, all films are screened with open captions and audio description, and live-events include accessible venues and seating, CART (live-captions), ASL interpretation, braille materials and sensory friendly spaces.
In addition to the original New York festival, ReelAbilities operates an international program with over 20 cities hosting ReelAbilities festivals and screenings that follow the same format and mission throughout the US, Canada and Latin America.
Films submitted and accepted to ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York will be eligible for programming at other ReelAbilities host city locations as part of ReelAbilities International.
The 15th annual festival will take place virtually and in multiple in-person locations throughout the NY metropolitan area between April 27-May 3, 2023.
We are looking for films presenting the lives and stories of disabled individuals and communities (in front or behind the camera) that explore, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of the shared human experience.
We accept features (over 40 min), shorts (up to 40 min), narratives and documentaries from all countries.
We prioritize films that are made by disabled creators, and that include authentic representations from actors, writers, directors, and crew with lived experiences with disabilities.
In addition - we encourage and prioritize submissions which include captions and audio description.
Eligibility requirements for submission:
* Films must be related to the topic of disability, such as: autism, chronic illness, hearing loss and deafness, vision loss and blindness, intellectual disability, learning disability, memory loss, mental health, physical disability, speech and language disorders, PTSD and other disabilities not specified above.
* Films that have been (or plan to be) widely/commercially released theatrically or on VOD/stream prior to April 2023 are not eligible for submission.
* Films that are advertisements commissioned by a commercial company or a promotional video for an organization (PSAs) are not eligible for submission.
* Screeners sent as links should be available through April 2023. Links must be updated by submitters on their FilmFreeway account if changed.
* Submissions with captioning and audio description are encouraged so that they can be viewed by all selection committee members.
By submitting your film you are acknowledging that:
1. To the best of your knowledge, all of your statements above are accurate.
2. You are duly authorized, on your behalf and on the behalf of any person or entity that has ownership rights in the work, to submit it to the Festival and you represent that this submission is not in violation of any law nor violates any right of said person or entity.
3. You hold ReelAbilities Film Festival, its officers, as well as any of its fiscal sponsors and affiliated entities, harmless from any damage to, or loss of, any materials submitted by you, whether that damage occurs en-route to or from the Festival or during the course of the Festival's possession of said materials.
4. You do not have a planned theatrical or online release of the film prior to April, 2023.
Response from festival:
Hi Dave - Thank you for submitting your film, and we are sorry we weren't able to include it in the festival this year. We do appreciate your feedback and reaching out to us.
We do not usually create laurels for Semi-Finalists, but we will review this option for the future.
We are very sorry for any delays in responses. Our plans to reply to all submitter's questions had changed due to recent events with COVID-19 which caused us to focus all of our remaining resources on shifting the festival to virtual format. A new challenge for us. We hope you can understand. We would love for you to submit other projects to us in the future, and attend events virtually and hopefully in person once that is possible again.
Response from festival:
Thank you so much for your very kind words and for your support in adjusting to the new format and making this festival happen. It was a huge pleasure hosting your film and mostly being able to have you and Sue join us for the Q&As. We look forward to being in touch for future screenings of Kinetics.