ReelAbilities Film Festival Columbus

Fall 2019:
Based on 
a True Story


September 18 @ Gateway Film Center
Ballad from Tibet
5pm: Social Hour at the Torpedo Room (Inside Gateway Film Center)
A special ensemble performance by students from The Ohio State School for the Blind will take place in the Gateway Lobby during the social hour.

Jampa Chambee will have a Tibetan cultural table and Tibetan instrument demonstrations. Instruments will also be available to touch. 

6pm: Film

movie still 4 kids walking toward a village

Based on a true story. Four young students from a school for the blind embark on an odyssey from their remote village in Tibet to the giant city of Shenzhen in order to sing on a TV talent competition. 

 Ballad from Tibet Trailer

October 16 @ Gateway Film Center
An Evening of Shorts
5pm: Social Hour at the Torpedo Room (Inside Gateway Film Center)
6pm: Films  


Five short films on bullying, written and directed by Columbus's own Bridgeway Academy!

**A short panel discussion from MISINTERPRETATION producers, Matt and Niki Swift, Meg Brown from Thurber House, and Bridgeway Academy participants will follow the screenings. 

Orange and Blue Bridgeway Academy logo. The word "bridgeway" arches over the word "academy"

Best Friend

A young boy in a gray and blue shirt puts his arm around a girl in a pink shirt. They face away from the camera and there is a fence in the foreground

A girl finds more than a best friend, when her parents let her adopt a dog.

Best Friend Trailer

The Barber of Augusta 

A man in a light blue superhero suit with a mask walks down a city sidewalk carrying a barbershop chair on his shoulder

A salon owner dresses up as a superhero, and gives free haircuts to Toronto homeless. 

The Barber of Augusta Trailer 


A women with blonde hair looks off to the right with a paintbrush in her mouth

A Barcelona design studio harnesses the unique skills of a creative team including members with Down syndrome and autism.

Design-Ability Trailer 


October 17 @ Vanderelli Room 
Art Matters Workshop and Mind Over Matter Screening 
6pm: "Art Matters" Workshop with mixed-media artist, Cody Miller
Description: Loosen up with Cody through responsive art methods. This FREE, sensory-friendly workshop will work with music, markers, colored pencils, and crayons. The workshop will conclude with a personal exercise in preparation for the film.
To register contact, Megan Fitze at or 614.241.5325

About Cody Miller:

Cody F. Miller is an artist based in Columbus, Ohio. He studied at The Columbus College of Art and Design where he received a BFA in Illustration. In the studio, Cody focuses on the interplay between paper and paint and their endless chain reactions. A common theme of his work is how the word ‘grace’ plays a major role in our journey homeward. Miller’s work has been shown in numerous exhibits, such as “The Best of 2019” at The Ohio Craft Museum and The Springfield Museum, “Havana/ConnectArt” in Matanzas, Cuba, “In Close Proximity” at The Cultural Arts Center, “From the Familiar to the Unfamiliar” at The Ohio Art League, “Glory Be” at The Johnson Humrickhouse Museum and “Annual Acquisitions” at The Viewpoint Gallery in Schenectady, New York. He is represented by The Hayley Gallery in New Albany, Ohio. Miller received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in 2002 and 2018, the Collector’s Award for Excellence at The Ohio Craft Museum’s “The Best of 2019,” Juror’s Choice 2D Award at The 2018 Columbus Arts Festival, Best of Show in 2001 and 2012 at The Westerville Arts Festival. Cody was the art instructor at United Cerebral Palsy from 1995-2011 and has been a resident artist at The Goodwill Art Studio since 2011.     

7pm: Film

Four silhouettes of musicians stand behind a burning fire at sunset

A young man with Cerebral Palsy overcomes a paralyzed left hand, bullies, and stereotypes, dreaming of becoming a rock guitarist. Taking inspiration from the band Korn, his dreams become reality as he leads his own band, expressing himself through music. 

Mind Over Matter Trailer


November 13 @ Vanderelli Room
Workshop: "The Insanity Principles" with Linda Sibio

Two heads float on piles of crumpled paper

Taught by California painter and performance artist Linda Carmella Sibio, this workshop includes a variety of multilayered psychological techniques, tapping into memory, play, and personal narrative as a source for art making.

Free/Registration Required

For questions and to reserve a spot, please email or call VSA Ohio, 614.241.5325

Linda Sibio's website


November 13 @ Gateway Film Center
Mad to be Normal
5pm: Social Hour at the Torpedo Room (Inside Gateway Film Center)
6pm: Film

A women and two men dressed in 1960's clothing sit around small table in a pub staring at the camera.

David Tennant stars as R.D. Laing,  the controversial physchiatrist who most famously treated patients diagnosed as "mentally disturbed" with LSD. His radical methods outraged the 1960s and '70s London medical community, but they also led to a dramatic adjustment in attitudes toward mental illness round the world.  

Mad to be Normal Trailer


2019-2020 Partners

Gateway Film Center Bridgeway Academy

The Vanderelli Room Logo


JCC Manhattan


Puffin Foundation West, Ltd.Ohio Arts Council  ADAMH Franklin County Logo

Friends of VSA Ohio logoGreater Columbus Arts Council logo




Make a donation to keep Reelabilities Columbus free



About ReelAbilities

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

Visit our ReelAbilities National Site


Festival Accessibility
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    Assistive Listening devices

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

To learn more about Festival Sponsorship contact
Megan Fitze, 614-241-5325.

Festival Archive

Click here for ReelAbilities Film Fest Columbus 2018 Archive

Click here for ReelAbilities Film Festival Columbus 2017 Archive

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.