About Us

Our Story

The ReelAbilities NY Disabilities Film Festival

The ReelAbilities NY Disabilities Film Festival was initiated at the JCC in Manhattan, in 2007. The festival was the first of its kind to present award- winning films by and about people with disabilities. Screenings took place at multiple venues throughout the city and they were followed by discussions that brought together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.

In 2012, Cincinnati, Ohio was the first city to follow in New York’s footsteps by hosting a ReelAbilities Film Festival. Since then, the festival has spread to over a dozen cities in North America, and we have received more than 500 films for consideration submitted from across the globe. In 2014, the festival’s national headquarters moved to Cincinnati where it is being managed by a nonprofit, Living Arrangements for Developmentally Disabled (LADD), Inc.

ReelAbilities Chicago

In 2015, Chicago hosted 5 days of amazing films from September 9-13, along with engaging panel discussions, guest speakers, exhibitions, and performances. To see the archived website for ReelAbilities Chicago 2015, visit http://reelabilitieschicago.org/. Stay tuned for news of our next festival, coming in 2017!

Meet the Chicago Team

Reveca Torres
Reveca Torres | Director
Founder & Director of BACKBONES

Matt Lauterbach
Matt Lauterbach | Director
Film Editor & Accessible Media Advocate

Grishma Shah
Grishma Shah | Director
Mass Media Consultant


Andrew Weiler
Marketing & Social Media


Lauren Kalinoski
Graphic Design


Jonathan Bartholomy
Film Research & Blog Content

ReelAbilities, presented by JCC Manhattan, in partnership with Ladd Inc. National sponsors: Jason's Connection , Saul Schottenstein Foundation B.