ReelAbilities Film Festival Columbus

More screenings. More perspectives. More accessible.

Jump to: January 17  *  March 14  *  May 16  *  July 18  *  September 12  *  November 14

TWO screening opportunities per day.
a) 10:30am - Matineee

b) 7:00pm - Film & Program 
6:00pm Social Hour in the Torpedo Room at the Gateway)

* Free
* Wednesday
* At the Gateway Film Center
       Gateway Film Center logo

Thank you 2018 Sponsors!


2018 ReelAbilities Film Festival Columbus Trailer on YouTube.

Click here to watch the ReelAbilities 2018 Trailer


Promo by WOSU Broad and High on YouTube.

Make a donation to keep Reelabilities Columbus free

January 17

Tramontane  |  Lebanon, France, Qatar, United Arab Emirates
Rabih, a musician who is blind, travels across rural Lebanon in search of his birth record. He meets people on the far fringes of society who tell their own stories and open further questions about his origins.

Watch the full trailer for Tramontane.

Tramontane film still, a man stands in front of a large open window looking at a violin which leans against the wall

*Featured Performance by international, award-winning duo, InnerVision!
Set begins at 6:45 in the movie theatre and will continue until about 7:10p. The film will start after the set.

Visit InnerVision's website.
InnerVision is Genene (piano, vocals) and Sam (vocals, harmonica)

March 14

Lefty & Loosey  |  USA

Private investigators Lefty and Loosey uncover a diabolical plot and must save the world.
Watch the trailer for Lefty & Loosey

Nocebo  |  Germany
Reality and imagination blur as Christian and Anna escape from a fatal drug study. Neither the police nor doctors believe their story, since Christian is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
**Includes adult themes and content.
Watch the trailer for Nocebo

The Quiet Ones  |  UK
In this murder mystery, a teacher at a boarding school for the deaf is brutally murdered, and the suspects are narrowed down to four students.
Watch the trailer for The Quiet Ones

The Forgotten  |  Russia
A sign language theater director has a love affair with his lead actress, but is unable to leave his wife.

March film stills: Lefty & Loosey stand under an overpass (Lefty & Loosey); a couple holds one another in a softly light hotel room at night (Nocebo); a shattered face has a hand over the mouth (The Quiet Ones); a man carries his wife down the street (The Forgotten)

Audio Description is provided by Jane Ehrenfeld during the EVENING screenings.
Program notes will be provided in the thatre at 6:30.

Audio description provided

We're making a documentary and need your help! On March 14th, from 6:00p-7:00p before our next screening : 
ReelAbilities Film Festival Columbus: we'll be on-site to shoot a short film, interview you, and pass you the camera to get your point-of-view. 
Come help us create a collaborative documentary short for VSA Ohio of diverse perspectives on "creativity". We hope you can join in the making! Thank you! 


May 16


Nise - the Heart of Madness  |  Brazil

An indomitable psychiatrist refuses to employ electroshock therapy, initiating an art therapy revolution and confronting Brazil's mental health establishment. Based on a true story.

Watch the trailer for Nise

*This film deals with sensitive themes in a direct way and is intended only for mature audiences.

Nise film still: Nise surrounded by artwork of her patients

Pop Up Art Gallery in the Gateway lobby by Fresh A.I.R. (Artists in Recovery) to bring awareness and eradicate stigma around mental health and addiction. This art exhibit will be on display at the Gateway only on May 16th - otherwise it will be on display at Flux+Flow Movement Center, May 1 - July 31, 2018.

Community workshops presented by VSA Ohio in collaboration with Southeast Inc. Health Services, Fresh A.I.R. gallery, and Flux+Flow Movement Center. The following workshops are inclusive, accessible, and free - hosted at Flux+Flow Movement Center, 200 Crestview Ave. Columbus, OH 43202.

Friday, May 25th from 6:00-8:00pm
Movement and Mark-making: Celebrate self-expression through movement improvisation, marking on paper, and words/sketching, if you choose. We will provide paper and mark-making utensils. Feel free to bring your own sketchbooks or journals but not necessary. Wear comfy clothes and socks or bare feet. Come to play! Inspired by our May film. Nise - the Heart of Madness. Come enjoy creativity as communication with yourself and others. Improvisation-based and facilitated by Nicole Garlando a dancer and poet, MFA Dance from The Ohio State University, member American Art Therapy Association.       

Saturdays: May 12th, 19th, and 26th from 4:30-5:30pm
Meditation Workshop series: These meditation classes will explore lovingkindness (metta) meditation, Yoga Nidra, and gentle pranayama (yogic breath practice) with the intention of cultivating patience and goodwill towards ourselves and others. All three Saturday sessions are free to the community and we look forward to sharing this wonderful opportunity with you all. 

Art exhibit on view at Flux+Flow lobby/gallery May-July. 
Participating Artists: Shawn Auguston, Justin Frehs, Lea Gayheart, Cathy Jeffers, Randy Jones, Amanda Kisielewski, David Leonard, Todd Loe, Christi Midlam, Kristin Morris, Cassandra Peters, Jennifer Richardson, Chrystal Robinson Shofroth, Janice Schmader, Adrian Sibley, Rebecca Slonaker, Matt Swift, Meghan Turner, Jason Van Hoose, Quentin Heath Willis, Charles Wince.
Take Heart postcard front
Take Heart postcard, back

July 18


Sanctuary  |  Ireland
In this dramatic comedy, Larry and Sophie are trying to be together, in a world doing everything to keep them apart. The night takes unexpected twists and turns when they bribe their caretaker into booking them a hotel room.

Watch the trailer for Sanctuary
*This film is intended for mature audiences.

Sanctuary film still - couple in bed

Conversation with cast and crew of Those Who Spring of Me
Those Who Spring of Me is an independent fiction film being produced in Columbus, Ohio about a young non-verbal man with autism and his want to start a family. The film is being produced with support from Nicolettecinemagraphics, Food For Good Thought, VSA Ohio, The Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council, and Puffin Foundation West.
Those who spring of me Facebook page

September 12


Sky   |   Netherlands

9-year-old Sky feels powerless and misunderstood among his hearing classmates. He thinks the outsiders don't understand him, but does he understand them?

Children of God   |   Iraq
A young amputee bets his prized possessions on his crush winning the boys vs. girls soccer match.

Stutter   |   USA
A strong-willed man with a stutter resolves to win his son's respect by speaking to the boy's class on Career Day.

Astronaut's Secret   |   USA
In 1996, Michael 'Rich' Clifford performed the first American spacewalk while docked to the Russian Mir Space Station. Fifteen years later Rich Clifford reveals that he had Parkinson's disease while performing that spacewalk.

September film stills x4

November 14


Midfield   |   Portugal

An ordinary workday in the life of a stevedore, who executes his job with surprising grace and simplicity - but when Sunday comes, an altogether different man emerges

Prison Dogs   |   USA
Prison Dogs focuses on the impact of a unique dog training program that gives two of the most marginalized populations in our society - prison inmates and veterans - a second chance.

Watch the trailer for Prison Dogs

november film stills x 2




Greater Columbus Arts Council logo  Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County


Puffin Foundation West Ltd.  Ohio Alliance for Arts Education

Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities ARC Industries

JCC Manhattan



Columbus Makes Art. Art Makes Columbus  Gateway Film Center  Food for Good Thought

Southeast Inc



ReelAbilities is a groundbreaking film festival uniting dozens of partners and multiple screening locations throughout central Ohio. ReelAbilities Film Festival 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, all through the easily accessible art form of film. Initiated in New York 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.

Columbus is part of 
ReelAbilities Film Festival


Contact VSA Ohio for more information and to request an accommodation.
Professional service accommodations should be requested 2 weeks in advance to ensure availability.
614-241-5325 or

 Information symbol - ask us  Wheelchair accessible spaces  Closed or Open Captions available for all films  Assistive Listening devices

*All films are Open Caption, Closed Caption, or subtitled if a foreign film

To learn more about Festival Sponsorship contact
Erin Hoppe, 614-241-5325.

Festival Archive:

Wednesday, October 11
@ Gateway Film Center
6:00p - Happy Hour in the Torpedo Room
7:00p - Film Screening, No Ordinary Hero: The Super Deafy Movie & Speaker, Professor Bill Bauer, "Why do we need a superhero?"
No Ordinary Hero: A Super Deafy Movie - trailer link

Thursday, October 12
@ Ohio History Connection
6:00p - Adaptive Sport Vendor Fair & Reception
7:00p - Film Screening & Dialogue on inclusive sports
Saturday, October 14
@ Lincoln Theatre
1:30p - Doors open; Sensory-friendly art-making with Shelbi Harris
2:00p - Family-friendly short film series

Strings film still and link to trailer

SHORT FILMS trailers:
1. Strings (Cuerdas) - (11 min). María’s routine at school is altered by the arrival of a child who soon becomes her best friend. 
****Sensitivity Alert**** Strings is an award winning film that contains the passing of a main character and addresses themes of fragility, friendship, death, and the beauty of memories. The death is discussed, not seen, but families should be aware. Please participate in art-making activities during this film if you do not wish your child to watch this portion of the series.
2. Anything You Can Do - (7 min). Two boys face off. But when the stakes are at their highest, will victory be sweet?
3. Hear This! - (15 min). When 10-year-old Tristan wants his dad to become the trainer of his soccer team, the club won’t allow it because his father is deaf. Tristan decides to prove them wrong.
4. The Battle - (3 min). Kayah Guenther is a young artist struggling to find his place in the world. Born with trisomy 21, he narrates his story through dance.
5. Picked - (8 min). A girl's quest for the "perfect" pumpkin sets her apart from her peers.

2017 Sponsors
   City of Columbus, Department of Neighborhoods  Art Makes Columbus, Columbus Makes Art
   The Columbus FOundation logo
Saul Schottenstein Foundation B
Tuesday, September 20 @ Gateway Film Center

2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL TRAILER #2 from Tom Ropelewski on Vimeo.

ABOUT 2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL: From the director of CHILD OF GIANTS: My Journey with Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange2e: Twice Exceptional follows the personal journeys of a unique group of high school students in Los Angeles who have been identified as “twice exceptional” – gifted or highly gifted individuals with learning disabilities or differences. They are geniuses, mavericks and dreamers – Malcolm Gladwell’s budding “outliers.”

ABOUT MARINA'S OCEAN: A group of countryside students are preparing a special trip to the beach. Marina, a 15-year-old girl with Down Syndrome, has a strong wish to visit the sea for the first time. Forbidden to travel with the other kids, Marina starts her own journey towards the Atlantic Ocean.