There are no Hollywood endings, but these movies are incredibly inspiring.
The ReelAbilities Film Festival will showcase documentaries, features, and shorts about – and even by – people living with disabilities at two Queens locations over the next few days. Discussions and presentations will follow each screening.
The Central Queens Y will present “Swim Team” on Sunday, March 5, at 10 a.m. This 100-minute documentary follows two New Jersey parents who form a competitive swim team and recruit teens on the autism spectrum to join it.
The same Forest Hills venue will share an afternoon of shorts on the same day, starting at 1 p.m. “Dancing on Wheels” depicts a paraplegic woman teaching dance to students with disabilities. “Jed’s Day” shows a man dealing with cerebral palsy. “Anna” follows a young autistic woman whose daily routine is shaken when another passenger takes her seat on a public bus. A former Canadian radio host deals with Parkinson’s disease in “Andy Barrie: The Voice.” And finally, “Spectrum: A Story of the Mind” uses animation to shed light on autism and sensory perception.
On Sunday, March 6, the Central Queens Y will show “My Hero Brother” at 12:30 p.m. This Israeli documentary follows a group of young adults with Down syndrome who trek through the Himalayas with members of their families.
Meanwhile over in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District, the Museum of the Moving Image is going to screen four films over the weekend.
“Sanctuary,” which is scheduled for Saturday, March 4, at 2:30 p.m., is about Larry and Sophie, who are banned by Irish law from being intimate due to their intellectual disabilities. They bribe their caretaker to book them a hotel room where they deal with everything from their feelings to condom usage. At the same time, their colleagues escape the care center and go on a mostly innocent rampage through town.
On the same day at 5 p.m., the dark Hungarian comedy “Kills on Wheels” will hit the screen. Two teenagers befriend an assassin in an attempt to escape a group facility for people with disabilities. They become wheelchair enforcers in a world of gangsters and guns.
The Museum of the Moving Image will impart “The View from Tall” on Sunday, March 5, at 2:30 p.m. A high school senior, who is constantly ridiculed by classmates due to her height, undergoes counseling after breaking up with her English teacher. Thus begins a unique relationship with her wheelchair-bound therapist.
“My Feral Heart” will go on at 5 p.m. A very independent teen tries to escape a group home despite having Down syndrome.
Now in its eleventh year, ReelAbilities will present movies in NYC’s other four boroughs and Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester counties until March 8.
Images: ReelAbilities Film Festival