Submissions for the 12th annual ReelAbilities in 2020 are now open!

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 different disabilities. Initiated at JCC Manhattan in 2007, the 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.

ReelAbilities operates the International program of the film festival out of the Marlene Mayerson JCC Manhattan main office in NYC, bringing the festival to communities throughout the U.S, Canada and Latin America.

PLEASE NOTE: Films accepted for ReelAbilities: New York will be made available to the ReelAbilities International program, allowing ReelAbilities partner cities throughout the US, Canada and Latin America to select those films for their festivals.

ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York is now accepting submission for its 12th edition, to take place in multiple locations throughout the NY metropolitan area in March 31st to April 6, 2020.
We are looking for films presenting the lives and stories of people with disabilities (in front or behind the camera) that explore, discuss 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.

Eligibility requirements for submission to the festival:
* 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 6, 2020 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 2020. Links must be updated by submitter on their FilmFreeway account if changed.
* We greatly recommend to add captioning to your film for accessibility purposes.

By submitting your film you are acknowledging that:

1. To the best of your knowledge, all of your statements below 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 March 31st, 2020.

Overall Rating
  • Lise Zumwalt

    Fantastic festival. Filmmakers are treated very well! Most importantly, ReelAbilities gets their films out into the community - we had multiple screenings in NYC, all well attended with amazing Q and A's after. Highly recommend this is why we make films.

    April 2019
    Reelabilities program box
    Response from festival:

    It was an honor to screen your film and have you join us. Thank you!

  • Greg Dicharry

    We had an amazing experience at this festival! Our film screened four times in very unique and beautiful venues with very meaningful panel discussions after each screening. The festival was very well organized And their team was amazing. Strongly recommend!

    April 2019
    Reelabilities program box
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for joining us at the festival and sharing your powerful film with the ReelAbilities community.

  • Amy Buchwald and Danny Woodburn

    This festival has been a tremendous service to the creative community of people with disability. It opens doors in terms of networking, artistic exploration and social impact. The festival directors, workers, and especially the volunteers are exceptional.

    April 2019
    Reelabilities program box
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for the kind words, and for the amazing work you do.

  • Cory Reeder

    What a great festival. As supporting of the filmmakers as they are of the great films they select. RAFFNYC did a great job of inviting filmmakers to showcase their films across all five boroughs of NYC. Every screening had a panel with cast or filmmakers or people educated on the subject matter.

    Many of their screenings are free to the public so as a filmmaker, it's a fantastic way to see the city and interact with all sorts of different New Yorkers.

    The centrally located JCC serves as a beautiful home base for all the festivals activities. I can without a doubt say that it's worth every cent to enter and I hope you get selected to participate in this festival that has quickly risen toward the top of my favorite festivals list.

    March 2018
    Reelabilities program box
    Response from festival:

    Great to have you as part of the ReelAbilities family, Cory!

  • Nathan Adams

    Excellent festival! Great team and amazing experience in NY.

    March 2018