Spotlight on Disability Film Festivals: ReelAbillities New York

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ReelAbilities Disability Film Festival New York 5 logo
Well, I missed the boat on announcing ReelAbilities Disability Film Festival 5 in New York. The good news is you can find out about the festival in thirteen cities in the US at their website,, including the other dates I have missed, like the New Jersey festival. So how did I find out about this one?

Thankfully, a write-up of the short film “Willowbrook” appeared in the New York Times in their Well section on March 7th. This is exciting because it’s not guaranteed that a disability-related festival will always get publicity in the larger media.

“Willowbrook” explores something with a long, international history: conducting medical experiments on disabled people and people of color. A lot of people don’t know about this history. It can be very difficult to watch the original footage of Willowbrook, which you can find on YouTube. But I ask that you try to watch so you can understand how important disability justice is. Many people still do not live with basic care and dignity. Geraldo Rivera’s exposé on Willowbrook was groundbreaking and desperately needed. The fact that these festivals exist where people with disabilities are now the film makers, not just the subjects, is wonderful.
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