Throughout human history people have had trouble accepting Deafness and/or disabilities in themselves and other people. Whether they’re inspiring pity or disdain or being ostracized, people who are Deaf and/or disabled are often made to feel different. The few scenes of people who are Deaf and/or disabled in films and media only further emphasize the negative pre-existing stereotypes. We all have disabilities and limitations, though, some people’s handicaps are just more visible than others.
The ReelAbilities Film Festival was created to change existing misconceptions. The festival empowers people who are Deaf and/or disabled by providing them a platform to showcase films made by people who are Deaf and/or disabled, staring people who are Deaf and/or disabled. Their mission is to normalize and humanize these underrepresented members of society and allow them to highlight their abilities.
Now Canada’s largest film festival dedicated to showcasing people who are Deaf and/or disabled, the ReelAbilities Film Festival will be returning for it’s 3rd year. The festival will run from May 29–June 4 and 25 films will be presented, including Canadian premieres from Brazil, Canada, China, Poland, Spain, and the US. The festival will be returning to Toronto and the films will be screened in various venues across the city, including Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), Innis Town Hall Theatre at University of Toronto (2 Sussex Ave) and Al Green Theatre (750 Spadina Ave). The general admission tickets are $12 per screening and are on sale now. To purchase tickets and learn more, please visit: reelabilities.org/toronto.