ReelAbilities to play in Montclair and West Orange

MONTCLAIR / WEST ORANGE, NJ — ReelAbilities is the largest disability film festival in the country and will be hosted from Oct. 30 through Nov. 5 at Montclair State University and at JCC MetroWest in West Orange. The festival is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of and about people with different abilities. Post screening speakers, presentations and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. For close to a decade, each spring, the JCC Manhattan selects finalists from hundreds of films submitted internationally and premieres with a festival week in Manhattan, followed by city venues across the country throughout the year coordinated through LADD in Cincinnati.

The schedule at Montclair State University is: Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m., “The Finishers,” about a 17-year-old with cerebral palsy who urges his father to compete with him in the IronMan Triathlon, and short film “Bumblebees,” about the challenges of dating for a teen with a disability; speakers from Achilles and Easter Seals will lead a post-film discussion followed by a reception. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 p.m., “Margarita, with a Straw,” a funky coming of age tale of Laila, a Punjabi teen, aspiring writer and wheelchair rebel who leaves India to attend NYU; the first actress who is a wheelchair user to have a Broadway role, Ali Stroker, will speak followed by a reception. Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 7:45 p.m., “No Ordinary Hero: The Superdeafy Movie,” a deaf actor who plays a superhero on television influences a deaf boy to redefine what “being normal” means; post-film presentation by the group Silent NO MORE will accompany comedian Kathy Buckley followed by a meet-and-greet the cast reception.

For more information about the offerings at Montclair State, contact Fran Prezant at 973-655-7124. ASL and real time captioning will be at all MSU screenings. For full festival brochure, ticketing and other information for MSU, visit or

The schedule at JCC MetroWest is: Sunday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m., a double feature of “Shooting Beauty” and “On Beauty,” the former about a fashion photographer whose career takes a sudden turn when she discovers a hidden world of beauty at a center for people living with significant disabilities and the latter about photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world along with its restrictive parameters on the industry’s standard of beauty and refocused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows; this event is followed by complimentary photo shoot. Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. “Twice Exceptional,” a documentary following the personal journeys of a group of students who have been identified as twice exceptional. Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m., “A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt,” a docudrama about blind factor owner Otto Weidt who worked to save his employees from the Nazis.

For further information and ticketing for the JCC, contact Carol Berman at or 973-530-3421, or visit