ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival

Our Mission:

ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities 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. Initiated at the JCC in 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. In 2014, the JCC in Manhattan collaborated with the Cincinnati-based agency, Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD, Inc), to operate the National program of the film festival, enabling us to focus more resources and provide more support to festivals around the country.

Contact Us

Reelabilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival
334 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10023
877-505-6708 - TTY


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Who We Are

Anita Altman, Festival Founder
Deputy Managing Director, Department of Government and External Affairs of UJA-Federation, and founder of its Task Force on People with Disabilities. Anita has helped to expand and transform programming for people with disabilities, who are served by the UJA-Federation network of agencies. Her hope is that this film festival will help raise the consciousness of the New York community about our common humanity and the value of each person, without regard to his or her ability or disability.

Isaac Zablocki, Festival Director
Isaac Zablocki is the Director of the Israel Film Center at the JCC in Manhattan. He was born in New York, and grew up in Israel. He attended film school at Columbia University and went on to work at Miramax films. Isaac is Director of Film Programs at the JCC in Manhattan and is one of the leading presenters of Jewish and Israeli films in America. He programs over seven film festivals a year including The Other Israel Film Festival and ReelAbilites: NY Disabilities Film Festival. Isaac also teaches film in various institutions.

Ravit Turjeman, Festival Co-director & National Festival Coordinator
Founder and Managing Director of Dragoman Films, a NYC-based boutique distribution company, specializing in marketing of Israeli Cinema in North America. Ravit also serves as director and programmer of numerous film festivals in the Tri-State area, among them The Other Israel Film Festival, and NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.With the support of the Saul Scohttenstein Foundation B, Ravit works to bring ReelAbilities to communities throughout the country.

Ariana Cohen-Halberstam, Outreach and Festival Coordinator
Associate Director of Film Programs at the Israel Film Center at The JCC in Manhattan. Ariana studied Film Theory and has worked in film and television industry in various capacities for years - most recently as an editor.

Christa Zielke, National Field Director
Christa served as the Co-Director of the ReelAbilities: Cincinnati festival in 2012-13. With past experience working in community media (formerly the Development Director for Media Bridges in Cinncinnati), disability advocacy (as the Marketing Director for a studio and gallery representing artists with disabilities), and fundraising/development, Christa moved into the role of National Field Director for the National festival program in March of 2014, taking the position as part of the collaboration between the JCC in Manhattan and LADD, Inc.


Festival Committees

Film Selection Committee

  • Anita Altman, UJA-Federation of New York
  • Lynn Bartner-Wiesel, LMT, Mommy, Wife & JCC Volunteer
  • Ariana Cohen-Halberstam, The JCC in Manhattan
  • Pat Goldman, J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation
  • Anita Hollander, Independent Artist, Chair SAG, AFTRA & Performers with Disabilities
  • Danielle Sheypuk
  • Ravit Turjeman, Dragoman Films
  • Isaac Zablocki, The JCC in Manhattan

Advisory Committee

  • Hannah Cohen, Coordinator of Special Needs Parenting Programs, The JCC in Manhattan
  • Shirley Silver, Board Member, The JCC in Manhattan
  • Mayer Waxman, National Association of Chevra Kadisha
  • Sharon Shapiro, Founding Director, Yad HaChazakah-JDEC
  • Gary Springer, Founder & Director, SPRINGER ASSOCIATES PR
  • Matt Kaplowitz, Bridge Multimedia
  • Daniele Favre-Panayotatos, Director of Development, Alpine Learning Group, Inc.
  • Sean Cruse, Ph.D, Communications & Research, United Nations Global Compact
  • Faye Ginsburg, Council for the Study of Disability, New York University
  • Fran Prezant, M.Ed. CCC, Disability Consultant, Researcher , Author
  • Ken Struve, Executive Director,City Access New York
  • Leslie Epstein Pearson, Director, Learning Resource Network/JBFCS
  • Victor Calise, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
  • Alexis Kashar, President, Jewish Deaf Resource Center (JDRC)
  • Dr. Sam Grogg, Dean, Arts and Sciences, Adelphi University

National Program

ReelAbilities Festival presents award winning films, music, dance, theater, discussions and other engaging programs, bringing together the community to explore, discuss and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.

ReelAbilities groundbreaking program is now available for you to create a ReelAbilities Film festival in your city. We have put together a festival package which offers you the opportunity to put together a festival of your own and bring this exceptional program to your community.

Through our ongoing partnerships we managed to minimize costs and resources needed to put together this festival.  We are happy to share with you our suggested speakers, artwork & copy for marketing, advertising and PR materials, as well as assist in securing film screening rights under the umbrella of ReelAbilities Film Festival brand.

You can choose to present a small program, or present a full ReelAbilities Film Festival.

ReelAbilities: National Program is presented with the support of The Saul Schottenstein Foundation B and Jason’s Connection.

Reelabilities is made possible by support from the JE and ZB Butler Foundation, FJC, A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds, The Stanley H. and Rita J. Kaplan Fund of UJA-Federation, Harry S. Black & Allon Fuller Fund, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for The Arts, and The Saul Schottenstein Foundation B.

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